The fall of news anchor legend Dan Rather is dramatized with a star cast
Hot on the heels of this year’s academy award-winning Spotlight, Truth is another tribute to investigative journalism, showing what happens when it goes horribly wrong. Fresh from breaking the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2004, the team of CBS’s 60 Minutes, led by producer Mary Mapes and anchorman Dan Rather (Cate Blanchett & Robert Redford) receive another scoop: not only did president George W. Bush use connections to land a cushy position in the Air National Guard during Vietnam, he failed to show up for over a year before an early discharge. Undeterred by the stories’ implications during an election, they cut corners to meet deadlines. Despite sources on record confirming the president’s truancy, the media and public get hung up on the veracity of some of their documents, discrediting the whole story.
Happily, Truth resists a Hollywood ending and sticks to the hard facts: Crucified by the public in a mudslinging campaign, Rather steps down after decades, with Mapes and her team fired in disgrace. With many questions left open, the film is as unresolved as the story they brought to light. If only Mary Mapes had researched as thoroughly as writer and first-time director James Vanderbilt.