Nothing But the Truth
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Most of he big Hollywood studios seem to be recession-proof, repeatedly pulling in record-breaking box office figures, in spite of the countryís rising unemployment rates. But, unfortunately, the same isnít true for many of the smaller companies. And when the Yari Film Group (the company responsible for distributing films like The Illusionist and The Painted Veil) filed for bankruptcy in December, they were forced to tighten their belt a bit, squeezing out a number of films that, as a result, didnít get the theatrical release that they deserved. In the case of Nothing But the Truth, though, it also meant that a couple of talented actresses were overlooked when award season rolled around.

In Nothing But the Truth, Washington reporter Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) has just gotten her hands on the biggest scoop of her career. Sheís just discovered that fellow soccer mom Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga) is actually a secret CIA operative who recently traveled to Venezuela to investigate an assassination attempt on the president. And although Erica reported that Venezuela wasnít involved in the attempted assassination, the government chose to retaliate anyway.

Carefully researched and corroborated, Rachelís story makes some huge waves in Washington, and itís not long before the FBI sends in a special prosecutor, Patton Dubois (Matt Dillon), to find Rachelís source. After all, itís treason to reveal the identity of a CIA operativeóand the FBI is ready to go over the guilty party. Still, despite the FBIís threats of fines and jail timeónot to mention the pressure from her familyóRachel refuses to reveal her source. As the standoff continues, itís not just Ericaís life thatís torn apart; Rachelís is, tooóyet she refuses to compromise her journalistic integrity.

Inspired by a true story, Nothing But the Truth is a thoughtful thriller thatís underscored by a number of remarkable performances. Beckinsale, especially, stands out as the conflicted reporter whoís torn between her integrity and her family (as well as her freedom). In fact, itís quite possibly her best performance to dateódefinitely deserving of a little award recognition. Farmiga, too, shines as the outed op, while Alan Alda plays Rachelís high-powered attorney with the perfect amount of strength and arrogance.

Those stellar performances further enhance the thought-provoking and challenging story. The writing is both sharp and smart, and though it does feel a bit drawn-out toward the end, it eventually comes together in a shocking conclusion that you wonít see coming. In fact, I think it may have even caused me to gasp audibly.

Still, while Yariís unfortunate situation all but destroyed Nothing But the Truthís chances for award nominations and box office success, the filmís recent DVD release means that you donít have to miss it. So, the next time you head out to your favorite video store, pick up a copy of this suspenseful shocker. Itís sure to give you plenty to think about (and discuss) long after the movie ends.

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