Based on true events, Truth follows the 2004 investigation made by CBS 60 Minutes into President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent public outcry that cost anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) their careers. The film is split into two parts, the initial journalist investigation and gathering of evidence (which takes up the majority of the film and is probably the most exciting aspect) and the after-effect once the programme has been aired. For it turns out that the main piece of evidence against Bush could have been faked, leading to an internal investigation into why the programme was aired without proper facts.
Having no background knowledge about this event I thought that the outcome of the film would be whether or not Bush did in fact avoid fighting in Vietnam, instead this is shafted to focus on the journalists and their fight to stand by what they believe. This is ultimately what happened in real life but personally I would have liked to see that enquiry answered in the film!
Cate Blanchett leads the film as producer Mary Mapes, it is down to Mary that the investigation begins at all and it is ultimately her decision what is put into the programme. Cate excels in these roles, portraying Mary to be tough, professional and passionate when it comes to work but there are also scenes with her husband and son that give off a caring, nurturing side to her. It is easy to feel for Mary – especially when snippets of her childhood are revealed – and she is very much the victim of the film. As we are shown the process in which each piece of evidence was gained, it means we can understand her reasoning better than the people she is subsequently fighting against in order to keep her career. Cate is the stand-out of the film, portraying Mary perfectly, but it did annoy me that her forehead never really seemed to move!
Alongside Cate were the likes of Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Moss and Dermot Mulroney. All key players in the investigation but side characters to Cate’s Mary. Elizabeth Moss plays a very similar role to Peggy from Mad Men but unfortunately, like the others, doesn’t get much screen-time. I also spent a good portion of the film trying to work out where I knew Dermot Mulroney from! (Friends and New Girl in case you were wondering!). The chemistry between all the characters is very believable though and you can connect to all of them individually. It’s a strong cast but it’s still very much the Cate Blanchett show.
Although the film is very well acted, I found myself getting a little bored by the end. This might be because I’m British and so have no real connection to the storyline, but after the excitement of finding evidence against Bush, the aftermath is tedious in comparison. Also, at just over two hours long, Truth is quite hard-going! There are brief moments of humour between the characters but by the end it’s all a bit doom and gloom. Overall, it’s a good film, but it’ll probably resonate more with Americans.