Based on the book “Truth and Duty: The Press, The President and the Power of Privilege” by Pulitzer and Emmy winning television producer Mary Mapes and detailing the explosive story of then President George W. Bush’s questionable history with the National Guard during the Vietnam War, Truth is a riveting piece of cinema with a powerhouse performance by two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett as Mapes. When reporting and fact-checking of the story comes back at her and legendary CBS anchor Dan Rather (played by Academy Award® winner Robert Redford) their livelihoods hang in the balance.
Writer-director James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) has a good ear for journalistic dialogue and ‘freedom of the press’ speeches but there are a few first-time directors traps he falls into. A few scenes of slow motion feel a bit amateurish and the (should have ben) subtextual father-daughter relationship between Rather and Mapes gets underlined unnecessarily. Those don’t take away too much from the impact of the story though as his adaptation of Mapes’s book is extraordinarily detailed and engrossing.