This film tells the true story of fraudulent Washington, D.C. journalist Stephen Glass (Christensen), who rose to meteoric heights as a young writer in his 20s, becoming a staff writer at "The New Republic" for three years (1995-1998), where 27 of his 41 published stories were either partially or completely made up. Looking for a short cut to fame, Glass concocted sources, quotes and even entire stories, but his deception did not go unnoticed forever, and eventually, his world came crumbling down... Written by
When Stephen Glass and Michael Kelly talk about Glass's predicament, and Kelly asks Glass if he ever cooked a story when he was the New Republic's editor-in-chief, the discussion occurs at Kelly's current place of work. In the DVD commentary, director Billy Ray said that the conversation actually took place at Mike Kelly's house, and that Glass's girlfriend was present. See more »
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In April of 2003, he was killed while covering Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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As the film opens we meet Stephen Glass, a rising star at "The New Republic" magazine. He's sensitive, friendly and unfailingly polite. And, oh yeah, did I mention he was on everybody's hot list? He was being wooed by everyone from "George Magazine" to "Harper's" to the "New York Times." Unfortunately, behind the Glass juggernaut was a compulsive liar who took everyone for a downhill ride. You see, Glass fabricated over 20 stories, inventing sources, locations, times, dates, and companies.
Hayden Christensen was fabulous as the ingratiating/creepy Glass. As a CNN.com reviewer pointed out, this movie proves he can act.
Christensen's Glass is the ultimate likeable co-worker, who remembers everyone's birthday, knows how everyone takes their coffee and is so self-deprecatingly sweet that when things start unraveling you feel sorry for him. Despite his audacious lies and deceits, you like him and wonder why everyone is being so mean. Christensen walks the fine line between good and evil so well, you watch in amazement. You feel sorry for him, you're repulsed by him, you're embarrassed for him...
At times I turned to my friend and said "Man! Is this hard to watch." And it was.
Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Glass' editor, Chuck Lane, is wonderfully understated as the misunderstood editor. (For those at home who care, he's also really cute in that nerdy handsome way.)
The movie incisively exposes the world of journalism -- with it's big egos, pedantic copy editors, and ultra-competitive writers. I could see many of my co-workers (current and former) in the archetypes portrayed on screen (the braggart, the attention getter, the know-it-all, the guy who will split the most microscopic of hairs just for the heck of it).
It also brings home the incredible responsibility on the shoulders of journalists. It's easy to forget this responsibility in pursuit of personal glory or attention, but it's the reader who gets hurt. Everyone in the business of journalism should see this movie. But with its twists and turns and shocking (yet true!) events, it's a movie for anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
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