Sunday, April 19, 2009


I love a good, smart political thriller, and that's exactly what I got last night when I saw Kevin McDonald's excellent State of Play. Russell Crowe, yet again, delivers an awesome lead performance -- this guy is probably my favorite actor working right now. He's got great taste in material and he always commands the screen with his presence. I'll have a full review up soon, but this is another intelligent piece of work from writer Tony Gilroy (who co-wrote with two other big-gun screenwriters, Matthew Michael Carnahan and Billy Ray), and director McDonald, hot off the riveting The Last King of Scotland, directs with clean, precision-tooled efficiency, never getting bogged down in unnecessary stylistics or pointless narrative digressions, instead creating a coherent but tricky political guessing game with a shadowy 70's style look and feel. I really enjoyed this one.


Wayne said...

I dug it, too.

Of course, not as good as the BBC mini-series, but a very good adaptation. Good job trimming the fat.

My fave Crowe perf since maybe "Master and Commander". I've never liked McAdams more than in this. Affleck was Affleck, but he worked here. Mirren was good. Jason Bateman stole it.

Joel said...

Wow. Did NOT realize that those were the screenwriters involved. Carnahan wrote Kingdom, Gilroy wrote the Bourne films and Michael Clayton, and Ray wrote Breach. This is a must-see. I don't know how I missed that. And the cast is star-studded.

Actionman said...

I agree with you on all fronts, Wayne.

Yes, Joel -- lots of pedigree in front of and behind the camera.