Over the past eight years we’ve witnessed all too often the efficacy with which artfully packaged media confections can erode master narratives and refigure commonly held notions of “true” via selective elisions. I don’t know writer-director Rod Lurie’s politics, and his agenda with his latest ripped-from-some-headline political thriller, Nothing But the Truth, may, in actuality, be nothing more than spinning a ripping yarn, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that, for some reason, Lurie’s taken it upon himself to recast the Judith Miller/Valerie Plame scandal as some kind of heroic battle of principles. Yes, the first thing we see on screen is a title card informing us of the fictional nature of the proceedings to follow, but isn’t this sort of attention diversion the necessary first step toward any realignment of the cultural unconscious?
Maybe I’m misremembering, but wasn’t Judith Miller the ossified D.C. cocktail-party circuit shill who lapped greedily from the hands of power and led the cheering squad for the Iraq War? You’d never know it from Lurie’s “fictional” take. Miller’s reconstituted here as Rachel Armstrong, a clean-browed soccer mom journalist with a conscience, played with misdirected energy by everyone’s favorite almost-there, Kate Beckinsale. After a horribly awkward opening sequence in which an attempt is made on the president’s life, “Nothing But the Truth” kicks into gear on the eve of the publication of a story by Rachel so huge, so earth-shattering, that it will literally “bring the White House down.”
Click here to read the rest of Jeff Reichert’s review of Nothing But the Truth.