Any film about semi-recent political controversy — and a classic battle of “they’re wrong, I’m right,” no less — is sure to incite more hubbub on release. When the film has only just cast two leads and has yet to shoot a single frame? Well, at least it’s drumming up publicity.
But open letters are often about pulling attention to yourself. So many of these authors just happen to be starting a new cable series or publishing a book. In the case of “Truth,” everything down to the title is at stake. The story of CBS producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) and broadcaster Dan Rather’s (Robert Redford) wade through the controversy surrounding the George W. Bush war-record scandal (based on Mapes’ own book) won’t begin production until this fall, but Megan McArdle’s open letter, published at Bloomberg, is having none of it. Hilariously addressed to “Hollywood” the letter lays down some damning supposed facts concerning the story.
While evincing some sympathy for Mapes and Rather, McArdle paints them as eager to take on right-wing groups, while suggesting that the “Truth” filmmakers are at risk of making “the same blind mistakes that destroyed several distinguished careers in New York.” The letter seems well-researched and hugely detailed — something writer-director James Vanderbilt will have to contend with from now to well past the release date.