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6 reviews, 27 user ratings

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Shattered Glass
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by robertrosado

"This is what a good biopic looks like."
5 stars

Very few things are more enjoyable and fulfilling to me than reading a news magazine. I don’t know about you, but that is how I get my information. Using the words those intelligent and articulate journalists write, I relive them the stories. Up until I Billy Ray’s brilliant biopic, “Shattered Glass”, it never occurred to me that one of these said journalists would maliciously or compulsively make things up, especially considering the great pains that are put into confirming every detail...

Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) is widely considered to be a star in the office building of The New Republic. He’s polite, considerate, and always digs up interesting topics for his articles. After a discovery is made by a competing magazine, it becomes apparent that the Glass’s reporting may not be entirely true. If editor Chuck Lane (Peter Sarsgaard) is going to save the magazine’s reputation, he must confront Glass to discover the truth. But what other lies does Glass have in store for his colleagues and the public?

To those who have read my “Episode II” review, it is no secret that Hayden Christensen has not been at the top of my list of valuable young actors for some time. He was great in Life as a House, but his spark seemed to have gone out after that 2001 domestic drama. Well, I was proven wrong. Christensen is fantastic in the title role, presenting Glass as a deceptively well-mannered young man. At first, it is easy to see why his co-workers at The New Republic would fall for his soft charm and laid-back personality. But, once his true colors begin to show, one wonders how they believed him in the first place. By the end, Christensen had worked his way under my skin.

Stealing the film, however, is Peter Sarsgaard (“Kinsey”). By systematically burrowing himself into the skin of a stiff and unlikable editor, Sarsgaard comes up with a finely nuanced and award-worthy performance. It is impossible to take your eyes off either of the leading men. Chloe Sevigny (“Boys Don’t Cry”), Steve Zahn (“Joy Ride”), Melanie Lynskey (“Sweet Home Alabama”), Rosario Dawson (“Sin City”), and Hank Azaria (TV’s ‘Huff’) round out the dedicated supporting cast, credibly playing members of the press. Sevigny, in particular, is very effective.

Jeffrey Ford’s editing skillfully weaves Glass’s story in a way that is constantly surprisingly and intense. This is, in equal measures, a nerve shattering thriller and a precise character study. It is so cleverly done; the film is suspenseful even if most will know what is going to happen. Billy Ray’s crisp screenplay not only dares you to relate to Lane and Glass, but it also asks you to come to your own conclusions about Glass’s motives. Did he do it to further his career, or was he simply a troubled individual who got carried away?

The title is perfectly evocative of the film itself: The shattering of illusion. Biopics come along more often than they should, especially in recent years. However, it is rare to come by one with so much depth and honesty (ironic, isn’t it?). “Shattered Glass” is a wholly successful gem. If you haven't seen this movie, rent it. It'll give you something to talk about the next day.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8286&reviewer=394
originally posted: 06/03/05 01:06:05
[printer] printer-friendly format  
This film is available for download or online viewing at CinemaNow.com For more in the CinemaNow.com series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/15/11 Kathryn Came out of this movie even more convinced that journalist need to be more ethical. 5 stars
10/13/09 Jeff Wilder Clinical presentation. But great script and great performances. 4 stars
6/30/09 Matt Anyone that gives this under 4 stars obviously doesn't know good cinema...and this is! 5 stars
6/24/06 Jenny this movie is immaculant. i absoutley adore it. 10. 5 stars
7/29/05 yuko suspicious journalism 5 stars
6/03/05 Dani Tight, fascinating, and well-acted. 5 stars
1/28/05 Phil M. Aficionado Solid casting, realistic acting and tight writing makes for a revealing and winning story 4 stars
12/30/04 Landshark Gripping gut-grinder...when partisan media gets caught lying, they just get better liars. 5 stars
10/11/04 Matt Thiel Much better than the similarly-themed 'Owning Mahowny'. Peter Sarsgaard is very good here. 4 stars
10/07/04 Mitch I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT <3<3 5 stars
6/12/04 Elizabeth Blackey This bites the Big One 1 stars
6/12/04 Elizabeth Warburton Lame! 1 stars
6/02/04 Elizabeth Award-worthy performance by Peter Sarsgaard. In my Top 10 of 2003. 5 stars
2/15/04 sumixam scored free tickets - thank God! 1 stars
1/14/04 Betty White Sarsgaard is superb in this engaging, somewhat life-changing drama. 5 stars
12/27/03 Chris A terrfic drama with an realstic perforence by Christean. 5 stars
12/07/03 ajay saw it based on the *bitchslap reviews/comments. Excellent 5 stars
11/25/03 Chris Klejdys A very entertaining movie, and very relevant. Lots of cool DC locales, too. 5 stars
11/25/03 Lord Chu Awesome and compelling. One of the best movies I've seen in months. 5 stars
11/13/03 Jin Nope 1 stars
11/10/03 hakan BAKAN SEE 5 stars
11/04/03 M. Orenson Simply, a masterpiece. 5 stars
11/03/03 Starbelly Best film of the year. Mesmerizing. 5 stars
10/28/03 HCgirl1 Who else is more talented? Hayden CONSTINTLY pulls off EVERY ROLL he takes on!! 5 stars
10/28/03 ligaya Worthy successor to All President's Men! 5 stars
10/24/03 Marce No typecasting for Hayden, yay!! 5 stars
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  31-Oct-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 23-Mar-2004



Directed by
  Billy Ray

Written by
  Billy Ray

  Hayden Christensen
  Chloë Sevigny
  Hank Azaria
  Rosario Dawson
  Peter Sarsgaard
  Steve Zahn

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