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Thread: 'State of Play' gallery and trailer

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    I liked the mini-series. I'm not too sure about this though. I generally don't care for re-makes.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    ^^I haven't seen the mini-series so I'll see it fresh.

    Doesn't Robin Wright Penn look gorgeous?

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    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    My girlfriend is in this! I know nothing about it.

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    Cool Chalet! What part does she play so we can look out for her?

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    I had to look it up. Says she's Mrs. Philips.

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    State Of Play (TBC)



    Watch The Trailer (View all trailers and clips)
    Plot
    Crime reporter Cal McCaffrey (Crowe) and crusading Congressman Stephen Collins (Affleck) are old college pals, but their professions put them at loggerheads when Collins’ intern dies under mysterious circumstances.
    Review
    Philosophical principle Ockham’s Razor states that the investigation into any phenomenon should involve as few assumptions as possible — in other words, the most likely explanation for any given mystery is the simplest one. So it’s hardly surprising that it’s a principle conveniently ignored by both conspiracy nuts and writers of political thrillers. From The Manchurian Candidate through JFK, right up to (wince) Eagle Eye, conspiracy has provided the scarlet juice that pumps through any hale, hardheaded thriller. The sense of the picture being bigger than the protagonist could ever have envisioned; the creep of encroaching paranoia as it’s realised that nobody — not even your own mother, dammit — can be trusted; the numbing, comprehension that, my God, this goes all the way to the TOP!, now where is my rug and why is my ass on the floor? It can all make for great drama.

    But just a few swings of that pesky Razor will snap asunder even the most robustly entwined plot threads. Rarely do conspiracy theories withstand the cold glare of scrutiny (apart from anything else, the more people involved in something, the harder it is to keep it secret), and the same applies to most conspiracy thrillers (hell, William Of Ockham, who first posited the principle, could fray apart Eagle Eye with a spork).

    Not so State Of Play. As fans of the original BBC show from which it’s been carefully adapted will know, this particular conspiracy thriller (if that is indeed the subgenre in which we should locate it) operates with one eye firmly on reality — on relationships, personal and professional — while its ears ring with the clash of agendas both between individuals and institutions. Which isn’t to say it doesn’t also have the nose to sniff out a good red herring, too. Ockham liked things simple, but even he would have agreed that things get confusing. Messy.

    Rather like State Of Play’s chief protagonist, Cal McCaffrey, an affable, whisky-quaffing slob of a crime reporter who likes the slap of shoe-leather on the sidewalk and the dark smudge of newsprint on his fingertips, and whose desk at fictional rag The Washington Globe creaks beneath Seussian towers of books and paperwork. Realised by Russell Crowe, Cal comes complete with an unflattering, unruly mane and a full-on middle-age spread. And if you think Crowe’s rugged charms don’t quite fit a fourth-estate professional, consider his place in the context of State Of Play — a film in which the first shot of his workplace has the ugly words “A Mediacorp Company” being mounted beneath The Washington Globe’s proud logo on the office wall.

    McCaffrey is old school, a dirty-pawed newshound to whom the D. C. ’tecs provide grudging respect. For him a good story is something to be worked over and scrubbed at until the truth shines through. As such, McCaffrey is like a frontiersman of the Old West, unwilling to accept that the frontier has gone (or at least turned digital) and it’s now the New West, where churning out copy cheaply and the concern to please shareholders rather than readers outweigh the careful craftsmanship of good, old-fashioned, dedicated reporting. As the Globe’s bolshy editor (played with acidic zest by Dame Helen Mirren) shrieks to Cal at the plot’s crux: “The real story is the sinking of this newspaper!” The paper’s new corporate owners are, she snaps, “interested in sales, not discretion!”

    This is why Crowe — an actor at home in Westerns and historical pics — works so well in the part (indeed, he makes it hard to imagine Cal as Brad Pitt, who was originally cast), and he’s the best we’ve seen him in years. He infuses McCaffrey with a glow of confidence in his own skills, while undercutting it with palpable discomfort as he’s drawn into a situation in which his old-school professionalism places him at odds with old college buddy Stephen (Ben Affleck) — a crusading Congressman suddenly wracked by scandal — and Stephen’s wife, Anne (Robin Wright Penn). Crowe is also adept at drawing his audience into the plot’s deeper, murkier waters: at one point, Cal realises, with a gut-churning shock, that he’s just rapped on the wrong door — well, the right one — and we witness the fear switch his smooth talk to stutters. It’s an impressive moment, and a valuable reminder that Crowe’s talents run far deeper than greying his hair and putting on a bit of flab.

    However, one thing is beyond even his reach: convincing us that Stephen could ever have been an old college pal. It’s not that Affleck is inherently bad in the part; he’s just too young and fresh-faced to close the eight-year gap between him and Crowe. We’re told that they go way back, we know that they’re good friends, but we never feel it when they share the screen. All we see are two strangers going through the motions. (Which, to be fair, is arguably intentional, but it hardly aids the drama of Cal’s ultimate personal/professional conflict, even if there’s more to things than first meets the eye.) It’s common knowledge that State Of Play had a rocky genesis; after director Kevin Macdonald replaced Pitt with Crowe, it turned out that the latter’s only possible start date didn’t coincide with co-star Edward Norton’s availability. Exit Norton, enter 11th-hour replacement Affleck. The sense of rush-casting, in Affleck’s case at least, is sadly unescapable, and it’s a shame that the film’s central relationship doesn’t quite gel.

    Thankfully, the female cast more than compensate for this flaw, and there’s a wealth of chemistry between Crowe and his pal’s wife (a sad-eyed Wright Penn), his partner-cum-professional rival, online journalist Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), and his profane boss Cameron (Mirren). The McAdams/Crowe interplay is particularly engaging, coming refreshingly free of romantic compulsion; Frye’s sex is largely irrelevant — the point is, as an online journo she’s the rival who becomes the pupil. Cal helps her realise there’s far more to journalism than sitting in the office and blogging, a point symbolically rammed home when he first gives her one of his biros and later presents her with an entire necklace of pens.

    The script has great pedigree, merging the talents of Matthew Michael Carnahan (Lions For Lambs), Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) and Tony Gilroy (the Bourne trilogy), and does a good job of condensing the Beeb series, maintaining a buzz of urgency throughout while not shying away from a bit of enjoyable Hollywood hokiness every now and again (“We got two dead bodies, one guy in a coma and us with a lead that nobody else has got,” Cal puffs to Della at one point. Hell, yeah!). And visually, State Of Play represents yet another step-up from one-time documentarian Kevin Macdonald, whose last movie was The Last King Of Scotland. In his hands, D. C. becomes a city of shadows, a place where threat lies around every corner and dark intentions brew within every building. Although, to invoke Ockham one last time, things are never quite that complex...
    Verdict
    Once you get over the unlikelihood of Affleck and Crowe as buddies, State Of Play stands as a sterling thriller, benefiting from admirable convictions and an arguable return to form by Russell Crowe.




    Empire Reviews Central - Review of State Of Play
    Last edited by Sasha; March 28th, 2009 at 06:26 PM.

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    From The Sunday Times

    April 5, 2009


    Russell Crowe in US version of State of Play

    Kevin Macdonald's film about journalism, politics and corruption is based on Paul Abbott's BBC TV series - but no Brad Pitt


    Bryan Appleyard


    div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p a:visited {color:#06c;}Russell Crowe is the star of the new movie State of Play — brilliant, see it the minute it comes out. It’s the first film in which I teared up during the closing credits. (I’ll explain later.) Kevin Macdonald — Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland — is the director. Here they are, Russ and Kev, sitting in a suite in the Dorchester while, behind me, the first G20 protesters march amiably up Park Lane.
    It’s good that they’re sitting down now because, at first, Macdonald wouldn’t, and Crowe kept prowling about the room, hugely on edge. I assume that this is because he detests journalists. In fact, it’s because he needs a smoke — B&H Gold, since you ask. He starts struggling with the double glazing while Macdonald and I chat on as if nothing is happening. Having conquered the sliding outer layer, he sets to work on the glazed door onto a small balcony. As some kind of anti-suicide device, however, it opens only about four inches.
    “I don’t believe it!” Macdonald cries sympathetically.
    “F***ers!” cries Crowe.
    He smokes heroically through the gap and seems to calm down. But, for a while, I feel he’s going through the motions, answering on autopilot. Then everything changes.
    We are talking about his appearance in the movie. He plays a journalist: long-haired, dishevelled, bit of a porker, though now he's lean and fit. He’s about to be 45, but looks younger. Exactly 20 minutes in, I’m talking to Macdonald when I become aware that Crowe, as if having noticed me for the first time, is staring at me with weird intensity, his piercing, grey-blue eyes moving up and down the full length of my body. Given his record — phones thrown at hotel receptionists, violent anti-press outbursts — this makes me uneasy.
    “Look at you,” he says, “you’re a series of contradictions: very nice jacket, round-necked T-shirt and those cowboy boots. Put that series of contradictions in a movie about a British journalist and they’d say, ‘Hey, the cowboy boots are a bit too much.’ But the next time I play a British journalist, he’ll be wearing cowboy boots. That’s exactly the sort of thing I brought to this movie. The visual things I brought to the film all referred to my own experience. I’ve been talking to journalists for almost 30 years — thousands of times I’ve been praised, flayed and betrayed.”
    After that it’s all “mate” this and “mate” that. We’ve bonded over the boots. It happens a lot.
    Macdonald is a more instantly accessible character. Relaxed and distressingly youthful (he is 41), he talks freely about technique, style and themes. The grandson of Emeric Pressburger — who, along with Michael Powell, made great films such as A Matter of Life and Death, and A Canterbury Tale — he is steeped in cinema. With this movie, he enters the global film aristocracy.
    State of Play is based on Paul Abbott’s superb BBC miniseries of the same name, which ran in 2003. It’s broadly the same plot — a journalist gets involved with the personal problems of an old friend, a politician, and in doing so opens a worm-can of corruption. There are, however, key differences. The first big one is that Macdonald did not try to squeeze all six hours of the TV series into a two-hour film. This cost him Brad Pitt. Pitt’s production company had brought the project to Macdonald, and the idea was that he was to play Cal McAffrey, Crowe’s character.
    Macdonald had been keen to make a film about journalism.
    “It’s an interesting time. Newspapers are dying throughout the world, and what it will be like when there are no more reporters running around is interesting to contemplate. Originally, I was nervous about making an adaptation of something that was so good, you were only going to be compared negatively. Then I started developing the script and I saw I could do something with it.”

    Continued....

    Russell Crowe in US version of State of Play - Times Online

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    Stepping Out of The Newsroom to Help 'Play' Work



    Inside Ben's Chili Bowl, actor Russell Crowe chats with The Washington Post's R. B. Brenner, who served as a consultant on Crowe's latest film, "State of Play." Some scenes for the movie were filmed at the famous D.C. restaurant. (Ricky Carioti - The Washington Post)
    Enlarge Photo

    By R.B. Brenner
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, April 12, 2009; Page E01

    Russell Crowe trusts his instincts, and right now he's almost certain they are dead-on. He just needs confirmation. So he darts his piercing eyes toward me.
    Five days earlier I was in the Washington Post newsroom, editing articles for the Metro section. Now I'm in Crowe's Beverly Hills hotel suite, along with director Kevin Macdonald and actresses Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams. Three Academy Award winners. A magnetic young star. And a newspaper guy you've never heard of, still wondering how he got here.
    We're dissecting the script for "State of Play," a big-screen thriller that revolves around the friendship-rivalry between a politician and a reporter. It's Jan. 6, 2008, the eve of three months of filming.
    Crowe's voice booms across the room. Surely, he asserts, a journalist who's been given photos that break open a sensational crime story would never jeopardize the scoop by sharing them with the police. Right?
    I've known him less than 48 hours. Not long enough to gauge whether he finds me useful or a pest. Certainly not long enough to calculate whether the answer I'm about to give will earn me an icy glare or a nod of respect.


    My new, surreal role as a pampered movie consultant is quite agreeable: hanging out with A-list celebrities, traveling first-class, staying near the beach in Santa Monica, fattening up on catered meals. It would be nice to stick around.
    It also would be nice to leave with some integrity intact.
    "In most situations, you're right," I begin, making eye contact while building the courage to drop a big "however" on Crowe, who plays the reporter. He's our meal ticket, the guy who rescued the movie six weeks earlier after Brad Pitt abruptly dropped out amid the Hollywood writers' strike. If he gives the word, I'm probably on the red-eye back to Dulles.
    After explaining why reporters often have adversarial relations with police and protect confidential documents at all costs, I outline a very narrow window of exception. If lives are in peril, then your duties as a citizen trump your principles as a journalist.
    Crowe pivots toward Macdonald, who had cautioned me that his leading man doesn't necessarily see the noble side of my profession. I brace for the worst. Instead, an articulate ally emerges.
    The exchange we just had, he tells Macdonald, needs to find its way into the scene.
    "That was fun, man," Crowe says to me later, after we spar a few more rounds over the script.

    WashingtonPost.com


    CONTINUED 1 2 3 4 Next >
    Last edited by Sasha; April 11th, 2009 at 01:28 PM.

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    State of Play Premiere Los Angeles (Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd) - April 15 -- State of Play Premiere Washington D.C. (Motion Picture Association of America at 1600 Eye Street, NW) - April 16 -- State of Play Benefit Screening New York - April 16 - Special Screening of STATE OF PLAY & Party to benefit Brooklyn Workforce Innovations. Universal Pictures and Working Title Films cordially invite you to a Special Screening of STATE OF PLAY starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren, to benefit Brooklyn Workforce Innovations and provide job training & placement to unemployed New Yorkers. Film Screenings at 6 pm and 9 pm, party from 7 pm-10 pm at Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street, Manhattan, New York 10013. Tickets from $75. To purchase tickets, please contact Tracy Anderson at 718-237-2017 x143 or visit -- State of Play BAFTA Screening in Los Angeles with a Q&A afterwards - April 16 -- State of Play World Premier London (Empire Cinema Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7NA ) - April 21

    **********

    NY Magazine SOP review .
    Last edited by Sasha; April 14th, 2009 at 08:53 AM.

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    Elite Member TonjaLasagna's Avatar
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    just saw 'State of Play' and absolutely loved it.
    My Facebook review: State of Play' is a gritty love Letter to DC.
    Director Kevin Macdonald ("Last King of Scotland"/"Touching the Void") got lucky with the cast: snide scruffy Russell Crowe, manorexic Ben Affleck, unrecognizable Rachel McAdams, an age-appropriately sexy Robin Wright Penn, a foul-mouthed Helen Mirren and hilarious Jason Bateman is a Bisexual Lounge-Lizard. This is my favorite DC based film, along with 'All The President's Men.' See This!
    "the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone"

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    ^^Awesome.

    You can watch Russell on the Today show HERE


    Looking good Baby, looking good.

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