NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

I am a movie lover. I used to movie marathon with my cousins even though it was already late to sleep. Horror and suspense is the one I like. Advantage on my part when my professor in News writing asked us to watch the movie entitled Nothing but the truth. The movie was very good, consistent and inspirational especially for those who are in the field of media. 

Nothing but the Truth is a 2008 American drama film written and directed by Rod Lurie. According to comments made by Lurie in The Truth Hurts, a bonus feature on the DVD release, his inspiration for the screenplay was the case of journalist Judith Miller, who in July 2005 was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a leak naming Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative, but this was merely a starting point for what is primarily a fictional story. In an April 2009 interview, 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.”

Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) is an ambitious reporter for the Capital Sun-Times. When she discovers fellow soccer mom Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga) is working as a covert operative for the CIA and recently returned from Venezuela, where she was investigating an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, she confronts her and requests confirmation. Erica refuses to cooperate, but Rachel has no doubts about the veracity of the report, and her story becomes front-page news with the support of editor Bonnie Benjamin (Angela Bassett) and Avril Aaronson (Noah Wyle), who serves as the newspaper’s legal counselor. Because revealing a covert operative’s identity is a treasonous offence and because the individual who leaked the information to Rachel is a potential threat to national security, special Federal prosecutor Patton Dubois (Matt Dillon) convenes a grand jury and demands to know who her source is, information she refuses to divulge. High profile attorney Albert Burnside (Alan Alda), hired by the newspaper to defend Rachel, is certain his personal friendship with Judge Hall will facilitate matters and is shocked when his client is jailed for contempt of court. Days become weeks, and then months, but Rachel steadfastly defends the principle of confidentiality, a position that eventually estranges her husband Ray (David Schwimmer), alienates her young son Timmy (Preston Bailey), and costs her embattled newspaper millions of dollars in fines and legal fees. However, Dubois is only interested in Armstrong’s original source. Armstrong pleads to Dubois that she could never give up her source as they would have to deal with the consequential ramifications of the death of Van Doren. Burnside even argues her case before the Supreme Court, but they decide against him 5-4, citing the overriding concern of national security. 

Eventually, Judge Hall decides to release Armstrong from jail, as he is convinced she will never divulge her source and, therefore, cannot be pressured through continued incarceration. On the day she is released, Dubois has the U.S. Marshals arrest her for obstruction of justice and convinces her to take a deal for a shortened sentence rather than go to trial. She agrees to two years in prison, with the possibility of early parole for good behavior. As Armstrong is taken to the facility, she reminisces about her time as a volunteer at Timmy’s school, and when she spoke to Van Doren’s daughter, Alison, who revealed to her on a school field trip that her mother worked for the government and recently went to Venezuela on “business”, thus revealing Alison as the original source.

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