Saturday, February 25, 2017

Oscar Movie Review: "All the President's Men" (1976)

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Movie"All the President's Men"
Year Nominated: 1977
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

Two Washington Post journalists investigate the Watergate break-in. Through intense research and with the help of an unnamed whistle-blower, they discover just how high the involvement in this crime goes, which could lead right to the White House.

"All the President's Men" is directed by Alan J. Pakula with a screenplay by William Goldman. It is based on a book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who are the journalists that investigated the Watergate Hotel break-in. It stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as journalist Woodward and Bernstein. The film looks at the break-in itself, as well as the trail these two must follow to discover who attempted to bug the DNC headquarters prior to the 1972 election and why.

This is a film all about how important a free press is to the United States of America. It shows that well done investigative journalism which seeks truth and hopes to find those willing to speak out against the injustices of those in power is second to none. What initially was thought of a simple burglary started to look like a much bigger scandal the deeper and deeper Woodward and Bernstein dug. They started to see cover-ups and payoffs traced back to President Nixon's closest advisers, essentially linking them to multiple wrongdoings. Of course, at the time, those in political power would regularly slam The Washington Post, claiming it didn't have its facts straight and tried their hardest to discredit them. This is all about a certain president who was eventually forced to resign when when it was discovered he directly ordered such illegal activities in order to get dirt on the DNC and his opponent in the election. The parallels to today's political climate are astonishing and uncanny.

Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford are some of the finest actors of their generation. They both put on strong performances, though neither received a nomination, which is a downright travesty to us. At first, Woodward and Bernstein don't quite know what they are looking for and are simply investigating a burglary gone wrong. As the layers get peeled back, a biggest conspiracy is unearthed, and Redford and Hoffman actually become Woodward and Bernstein. They play off of one another like it's second nature. When doing research, we discovered Redford and Hoffman memorized each others lines so they could accurately interrupt one another to fit in with the context of the film and the goings on of that scene. Interestingly enough, it was Jason Robards, who plays Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, who not only got nominated, but won an Oscar for his performance. Speaking of awards, the film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards total, including best picture, and it took home a total of four statues.

"All the President's Men" remains one of the best films about journalism to this day. It is a very gripping biographical and political drama despite mostly involving an endless series of conversations about leaks, money, espionage, and research. There has never been a more pertinent film for 2017.


My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
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Last Oscar season, we were watching: "Sideways"

Two Oscar seasons ago, we were watching: "Moonstruck"

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