Audiences to handle ‘Nothing But the Truth’ in Toronto

Posted by · 6:39 pm · August 18th, 2008

Kate Beckinsale in Nothing But the TruthThe final announcements for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival will land tomorrow morning, and one of the films that will be on the list is Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But the Truth.”

The festival organizers have been hopeful that they could show the flick as a Gala and now they’ll be doing just that. ‘Truth’ won’t release until December, leaving quite a gap between the festival bow and the domestic unveiling. But this is a good move if early buzz is going to start building for actors Vera Farmiga, Kate Beckinsale, Alan Alda and, to a lesser extent, Matt Dillon.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention that I saw an early cut of the film a few weeks back. And to be sure, I think Beckinsale is going to turn a few heads with her work as a reporter caught on the fence between the security of a source and the demands of the federal government. It’s a de-glam role but not in the typical sense. She is still beautiful throughout, of course, but seems capable of wearing that tired look of a downtrodden warrior.

Alan Alda is, as usual, a perfect fit as Beckinsale’s attorney. He rolls the dialogue off his tongue in just the right ways and when he’s off screen, I was left wanting more of him. That can go a long way in a supporting campaign. Speaking of which, Vera Farmiga is an absolute firecracker every moment she’s on the screen as the Valerie Plame-like outed CIA operative Erica Van Doren.

In the film, Lurie is taking what we learned from the Plame affair and spinning it into the realm of (not-so-unthinkable) fiction. He explores the vague nature of shield laws and the perfect track record “national security” enjoys over the First Amendment in this regard, and he does so in typical Lurie fashion.

Lurie has always been a filmmaker willing to face down tough issues in his films, displaying a knack for boiling them down to a serviceable and entertaining essence. He’s also proven to be more than capable of drawing stellar performances out of his actors (Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman, Joan Allen, Samuel L. Jackson). I think we could be looking at his next dance with the awards season with this effort.

Anyway, now is not the time for an in-depth review of “Nothing But the Truth.” Something along those lines will drop closer to the festival, but for now, I’d wager it is a film that will have some support. Hopefully it’ll get the same from a studio with nothing else on the slate this year.

(Also playing at the fest, by the way, is the Lurie-produced “What Doesn’t Kill You.” That film will be looking to make a splash in an already indie-heavy TIFF slate with Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke starring.)

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9 responses so far

  • 1 8-19-2008 at 12:42 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Good to hear. I’ve been waiting for Vera Farmiga to break through for a while now – maybe this could be the vehicle. She’s potentially Blanchett-level, in my opinion.

  • 2 8-19-2008 at 4:21 am

    John Foote said...

    Some great films coming but some disappointments as well. The talk of the town had been that Body of Lies was coming and The Road…nope. Still, lots of great movies. Counting down the days…remember day to day coverage.

  • 3 8-19-2008 at 10:37 am

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    This is the real Beckinsale’s proof of fire. In all the years that she works in Hollywood, she only has a lead role (Underworld), and finally the real recognition of Vera Farmiga (“Down to the Bone”, with “The Upside of Anger”, is one of the most underrated and snubbed performances in this awful 2005 best Actress Nominees )

  • 4 8-19-2008 at 1:44 pm

    RichardA said...

    I love Kate Beckinsale in The Last Days of Disco. Now, that she’s made some money from the Underworld series, I am glad that she’s finally using her talents in other genre.

  • 5 8-19-2008 at 8:46 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Drawing out these performances is really Lurie’s greatest (and perhaps only) strength. I’m still mystified how Samuel L. Jackson failed to garner a nod last year for RESURRECTING.

  • 6 10-27-2009 at 10:08 am

    louis vuitton said...

    Hello I m not the american citizen,I m from Bulgaria, but like the citizen of the world I would like to say whoever read this to take it to somebody who care about the real actors, I just understand that the nomination of Kate Beckinsale has been canceled because her movie “Nothing but the truth” hasn t been famous enought for the critics and everything is because lack of money according the world bank crisis. You who reading this hear me carefully it doesn t mater if the bank sistem going down or the world going to destruction, the good actress is a good actress and the real critic is the ordinary man just like everyone of us and all of us will chose this women for the actress of the year if we had opportunity to do this. So even this actress won t have a chance to get this oscar I hope somebody to bring her a flower and say “thank you for the great performance the world think that this award should be for you!”