"Broadcast News" DVD, Blu-Ray Movie Review

1/28/2011 Posted by Admin

"Broadcast News"

DVD, Blu-Ray Movie Review

Directed by James L. Brooks, Written by James L. Brooks, 133 Minutes, Rated R.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

In "Broadcast News," Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter and William Hurt add subtle and realistic dimensions to their characters, giving life to James L. Brooks' complex and fascinating characters.

Jane (Holly Hunter), an idealistic and talented news producer, fears the downfall of her medium. As honest reporting takes a backseat to human interest stories, she and her field reporter and best friend Aaron (Albert Brooks) strive to produce news that is real and respectable. They love their job but fear its fading integrity.

Enter Tom, the new network anchor. Tom is everything Jane and Aaron hate.  He's good looking, uneducated and exactly what their network has been looking for. However, since Jane is the best producer in the business, her bosses pair her up with him. Soon, their rocky partnership turns to attraction, and Tom and Jane's close working relationship bring them together, while their idea of what is newsworthy keeps them apart.

Brooks populates his film with real people with real problems. Jane, Aaron and Tom have fears, insecurities and dreams, all of which they are freely allowed to express. This makes the film funny and tragic, often in the same scene. James L. Brooks nicely balances this emotional split, and his cast is more than able to bear the weight.

The three leads fill the newsroom remarkably well. John Hurt's airhead news anchor is fantastic. He plays the guy who has it all without coming off as unsavory. Surprisingly, Tom's vulnerable naïveté and honest demeanor make him easy to like. Opposite Tom is Albert Brooks' neurotic field reporter Aaron, who is a funny nemesis to Tom and a source of warmth and pain to Jane. Balancing humor and sorrow, Aaron uses sarcasm as a defense mechanism.

This leaves Holly Hunter's Jane. Hunter creates a character with so much history that it is impossible not to love her. She's afraid of success, love and being wrong, and these emotional ticks give her pathos. The quick cuts to Hunter crying at her desk offer a funny juxtaposition and open the character to the audience. Jane has been hurt by the world, and Hunter does not hide it.

"Broadcast News" is a fantastic film filled with strong characters, performances and writing. Brooks hits his comedic and dramatic beats right on cue. He orchestrates a complex production with a more than able cast. The script and characters, as Tom would say, "sell it" -- they make you care about the story.

Grade: A

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