Thursday, May 30, 2013

All The President's Men (1976)

Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) doggedly pursue the most important news story of the 1970's - the Watergate break-in.

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Since the early 1900's, filmmakers have been employing various techniques to better place audiences into the heads of their characters. Filmmaker Robert Montgomery went so far as to shoot the entire 1947 film Lady In The Lake through the "eyes" of his main character. In the modern era, Darren Aronofsky has implemented a whole battery of tricks in order to enhance narrative subjectivity in films like Pi and Requiem For A Dream. But does it really have to be that hard?

If you are at all familiar with American History, then you know how All The President's Men is going to end. Like Woodward and Bernstein, you know who the guilty parties are. It's just a matter of getting enough sources to back you up. As they drive all around town, knocking on door after door, you are right there with them. You're tired. You're worn out. You desperately want this next interview to be "the one". Even without the immense visual skill of director Alan J. Pakula and cinematographer Gordon Willis, this would have been riveting stuff. I guess that's why they gave William Goldman that Oscar...

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