Wells stumps for Bateman

Posted by · 9:16 am · April 15th, 2009

Jason Bateman in State of PlaySo far, the reviews for Kevin Macdonald’s “State of Play” seem uniformly warm — which comes as a relief to me after the rather indifferent vibe I got from the film’s entire marketing strategy.

Todd McCarthy describes it as an “efficient, admirably coherent thriller” — welcome adjectives considering the level of condensation required from the original six-hour miniseries — and casts praise in multiple directions, from Russell Crowe’s lead turn (“a brilliant character actor hiding inside a leading man’s body”) to Mark Friedberg’s production design (“won’t likely be matched anytime soon”). Screen International’s Fionnula Halligan sings a similar tune, commending the film for its “edgy bristle” and “surgical” adaptation.

Both critics also take time to single out the supporting contribution of Jason Bateman for praise, but it’s Jeff Wells who is most impressed by the “Arrested Development” star, going so far as to advocate:

Hollywood Elsewhere hereby submits Jason Bateman’s performance in State of Play — a performance I admittedly didn’t mention in my review posted earlier today — as the first supporting performance of 2009 deserving of award consideration. He plays a sleazy Washington, D.C. publicist named Dominic Foy, and is quite good in a sort-of sweaty and grotesque way.

Wells, meanwhile, is also a fan of the film as a whole. Good news all round, then — I’m looking forward to the weekend just a little bit more.

→ 5 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

5 responses so far

  • 1 4-15-2009 at 9:36 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I was an ass and skipped my screenings of this last week but I’m looking forward to it. I’m on the Macdonald bandwagon for a while, I expect.

  • 2 4-15-2009 at 5:42 pm

    moviefan said...

    Well, I guess that answers my question if any of you guys had seen it yet, lol.

    Guy, funnily enough, the UK press that I’ve seen (quite a few) has been even warmer than the US press, which pleased me but surprised me considering the popularity of the BBC series over there. I loved the series also, but am really looking forward to seeing State of Play this weekend.

  • 3 4-15-2009 at 6:05 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Awards consideration for THAT? C’mon, are we this desperate to mention Oscar in a story so early in the year? The movie is surprisingly pretty good and Bateman does a good job with the role but you’d have to be smoking crack to think that garners awards consideration.

  • 4 4-16-2009 at 7:35 am

    Dan said...

    This movie was crap. A generic political thriller.
    The UK series was far superior. Sick of all of this Crowe love. He is not a character actor, just
    knows to modify himself into roles. He certaintly does not having a leading man’s body.
    Very overrated. The media respects a real
    homewrecker and an arrogant jerk..but they
    continually insult and spread lies/hatred towards admirable celebs who are being misperceived as scandalous and unlikeable because of what gossip created. Actors like Russell, corrupt, fake, manipulative..average
    talent but has good strategy to picking roles
    that caters to their few strengths…repulse me,
    but they are the kind of guys that Hollywood loves.

    If you read a lot of political thriller novels, this
    story should seem all too familiar, hackneyed,
    and cliched to you. Nothing special about the acting. These movie tries to pose as intelligent,
    complex, and gripping. Exactly the kind of movie that would excite the pseudo-intellectuals.
    I thought the high-profile cast was wasted. Watch it on DVD and it won’t garner any awards nominations.

  • 5 4-16-2009 at 10:38 am

    BurmaShave said...

    When do we think Russell Crowe beat up Dan? Must have been fairly recent.