Nothing But The Truth – Day Twelve – #40movies40days
This film is wonderful undiscovered gem! ¬†I chose it because it was a new arrival on NetFlix. ¬†I discovered it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008. It was scheduled to open in New York City and Los Angeles at the end of that year, but because distributor Yari Film Group Releasing filed for Chapter 11 protection, it never was given a theatrical release. ¬†It is totally worth the watch on NetFlix.
The story was inspired by Judith Miller, jailed in July 2005 for her refusal to reveal her source naming Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative. ¬†These facts are merely a starting point for this completely fictional story. In an April 2009 interview, writer/director Rod Lurie stressed, “I should say that the film is about neither of these women although certainly their stories as reported in the press went into the creation of their characters and the situation they find themselves in.”
Roger Ebert had this to say about the film:
Lurie, who is a powerful screenwriter, is freed by fiction to do two very interesting things. (1) He presents the issues involved with great clarity; (2) He shows that a reporter’s reasons for concealing a source may be more compelling than we guess. What is deeply satisfying about “Nothing But the Truth” is that the (film’s) conclusion, which will come as a surprise to almost all viewers, is not a cheat, is plausible, and explains some unresolved testimony. ¬†(I totally didn’t see the twist coming.)
“Nothing But the Truth” is a finely-crafted film of people and ideas, of the sort more common before the movie mainstream became a sausage factory. It respects the intelligence of the audience, it contains real drama, it earns its suspense, and it has a point to make. In the ordinary course of events, it would have had a high-profile release and plausibly won nominations. But the economic downturn struck down its distributor, the film missed its release window, and its life must be on DVD. It is far above the “straight-to-DVD” category, and I hope filmgoers discover that.
I loved this film because of the trio of strong female characters. ¬†As Roger Ebert said, this is an intelligent film with no easy answers– only hard questions. ¬†It has the complexity and emotional urgency that makes a film memorable for me.
The question at the heart of the film is incredibly compelling and a classic Power of Conscience quandary: How far should this character go to protect her integrity, honor and core values. ¬†Most of us are never tested like the protagonist in this film. ¬†I know I have never been tested to this degree. ¬†The film reminds us that ordinary women make heroic choices every day. ¬†We just don’t hear about most of them.