Investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to solve the murder of a congressman’s mistress…
Cal McAffrey, (RUSSELL CROWE) a journalist for the Washington Globe, teams up with young reporter Della Frye, (RACHEL McADAMS) to investigate the sudden death of Sonia Baker who was senior research assistant for Cal’s longtime friend, Congressman Stephen Collins, (BEN AFFLECK).
Collins’s emotional reaction to his employee’s death makes it obvious that she was also his mistress.
Cal and Della discover that Sonia was somehow linked to a bag-snatcher who was gunned down in an alley-way by a hit-man who also shot an innocent passer-by, apparently so there would be no witness.
The clues lead to Collins’s investigations into Point Corp, a civilian organisation which, at great profit, is taking over all of America’s Homeland Security.
Based on the 2003 BBC television series, and co-scripted by Tony Gilroy, STATE OF PLAY is a top-flight thriller which not only racks up the suspense to an almost unbearable pitch but also keeps you guessing right to the end.
Directed by Kevin MacDonald, whose documentary background shows in the most positive ways, the film is well written and superbly acted.
RUSSELL CROWE adopts the daggy look to portray the journalist with a yen for his best friend’s wife, ROBIN WRIGHT PENN. RACHEL McADAMS is terrific as the young, hungry reporter who finds herself in dangerous situations; and BEN AFFLECK gives one of his best performances as the politician who has made a mess of his personal life.
Scene stealing supporting performances come from HELEN MIRREN, as the waspish editor of the Globe, and JASON BATEMAN as a strange character importantly involved in the murky plot.
Filled with caustic commentary on the state of America in the wash-up of the era of the Bush Administration, STATE OF PLAY represents mainstream Hollywood filmmaking at its best.
Ref: ABC at the movie