Friday, October 30, 2015


      Back in 2004, "60 Minutes" ran a story that ultimately forced Dan Rather to resign and got producer Mary Mapes fired. This is the newsroom drama of the story behind that story.

       Cate Blanchett stars as Mary Mapes, the hard driving "60 Minutes" producer who "doesn't like bullies" and is a relentless journalist. Robert Redford co-stars as Dan Rather, long time anchor of "60 Minutes" and a iconic journalism figure in television news.  Mr. Redford looks nothing like the real Dan Rather but he does a good job capturing his vocal mannerisms and of course his acting is excellent. Ms. Blanchett looks very little like Mary Mapes as well but her acting is outstanding  and I wouldn't be surprised if there is another Oscar nomination in her future.

        There is a terrific supporting cast as well. Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss,  and Dennis Quaid are all part of Ms. Mapes investigative team. Bruce Greenwood is Andrew Heywood, the head of the CBS News division. Stacy Keach, John Benjamin Hickey, and Dermot Mulroney all play key roles in the drama.

        The story is a compelling look at news and politics and a cautionary tale for any news reporter. Watching the story behind the story unfold and then have everything fall apart is fascinating. Does the film ever get to the actual "truth" is debatable but there is no question Ms. Mapes and Mr. Rather are portrayed as scapegoats by CBS management.

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