November 25, 2003

Are You Mad At Me, Chuck?

In our continuing search for art house movies not screened at the dreaded Angelika (no subway rumbling during our movies, thankyouverymuch), Cinecultist and our friend Lisa met at the Paris theater on 58th and 5th Avenue on Sunday for Shattered Glass. Across the street from what Cinecultist thinks of as Manhattan's Magical Palace (aka the Plaza, dah-ling), the Paris is a plush theater, if sparse by way of customers on a Sunday night.

A drama about the real life journalism kerfuffle surrounding editor Stephen Glass's dismissal from the Washington D.C. rag the New Republic, the film both gives the viewer an intriguing insight into Glass's troubled psyche at the same time keeping us guessing about his true nature. Much of this ambiguity comes from Hayden Christianson's stellar performance as Glass. He's so damn likable at the start of the film -- all wide-eyed and seemingly ethical as he lectures a classroom of adoring high school students. But as the film wears on, his incessant ass-kissing and fearful pleas that no one be mad at him begin to grate considerably.

Besides Christianson, the picture is filled with top notch acting particularly from Peter Saarsgard as Steve's editor Chuck Lane, who has a thrilling scene where they try to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak. Chloe Sevigny does her brittle ice queen thing which we always like and Melanie Lynsky, our favorite underappreciated indie actress who lives in the nabe (spotted at the Astor Place Starbucks!), represents. Shattered Glass is one of those fall movies that makes you think, should get some sort of awards and will be promptly ignored. Go see it now, and be ahead of the Academy curve just like CC.

Posted by karen at November 25, 2003 7:59 AM