WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
SHATTERED GLASS recounts the true story of an ambitious journalist in his early twenties named Stephen Glass who, in the late nineties, was getting several of his articles published in one the countries most influential magazines “The New Republic”, as well as “Rolling Stone”, “Harper’s Bazaar” and “George.” After a while though, people started wondering how much of his entertaining and zany articles were fact, and how much was fiction…
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is an extremely well made account of what was probably one of the most brilliant journalistic con jobs in recent memory. I’d even go so far as to bunch SHATTERED GLASS in with other “con man” movies. As the film progresses, you become a witness to all the sparkling lies and manipulative tactics Glass used to protect his phony articles. The fact that he isn’t a criminal per se, doesn’t make him any less of a flashy confidence man. He was a damn good liar and covered his tracks exceptionally well for the longest time-- that’s what a good con man does. The fact that this really happened, makes the viewing of the film all the more enjoyable. You aren’t left hanging with this one either, before the end credits roll, you’re caught up to date with all the characters in the film (including Glass, of course) with a written run-down of where they are now and what they’re doing. They tie everything up in a nice little bow.
The acting in the movie is solid across the board as well. Christensen’s over the top nervousness and insecurity, when playing Glass, really does help you understand how he could have fooled all those around him into believing he was just a naïve little kid, stumbling his way onto these great stories. Hank Azaria’s characters usually end up getting on my nerves, but his small but important role as an editor here, worked well and added much credibility to the festivities. Sarsgaard impressed me the most with his unusually subtle, yet complex, turn as the new editor of “The New Republic.” His slight facial expressions alone helped you understand what was brewing below the surface. And when he does finally explode, it just makes it all the sweeter. Rosario Dawson, naturally, embarrasses herself again in another throw-away shitty role that most actors would turn down in a heartbeat. My only complaint would be not enough background information on Glass himself, but I guess they could only fit so much into 94 minutes. This isn’t a great movie that’ll blow your socks off, but it’ll definitely satisfy you and pleasantly fill in your lazy Sunday afternoon.
“60 Minutes” Interview with the real Stephan Glass (approx 12. min.): This is the perfect extra! This piece filled in tons of details and background information on Glass, on top of interviewing the man five years after the incidents in which he duped a whole nation with his fabricated articles. The story also includes an interview with Stephen’s editor at the time, Chuck Lane (played by Peter Sarsgaard in the film) and another senior employee that worked at the magazine for over twenty years. This is the perfect feature to watch after you view the film. It also showed me how good a job the filmmakers did-- virtually every major detail of what Stephen actually did at the paper was covered in SHATTERED GLASS. The best part of the whole piece is hearing Glass himself express how awful he now feels about what he did and all the people in his life that he hurt (including his ex-coworkers). It’s great because a part of you has to wonder if this once-professional liar is finally being sincere...or not. I sure thought he was…
Audio Commentary by director Billy Ray and Chuck Lane : The former editor of “The New Republic” Chuck Lane and director Ray discuss everything about the film and the real Stephen Glass in great detail. As with every true story, the audio commentary track is a wonderful way of getting more insight into what really happened. There are hardly any pauses of any kind. A very enjoyable and informative audio track.
I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest you blind-buy this sucker, but it’s definitely a worthy rental (with two fantastic special features) that just might convince you to add this onto your DVD must-haves list.