Title: All The President’s Men
Genre: Drama, History
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Writers: Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, William Goldman
F. Murray Abraham
As an outsider, I am not interested in the notorious Watergate scandal, as I truly believe that history is doomed to be forgot as long as time goes on eternally. The importance of what Nixon did was equally trivial compared with anyone else in the world (for example a journalist) in a long run. So generally political films were barely able to arouse my interest, but this one is an exception.
I think the film cleverly put its center of gravity in the conducts of these two ordinary protagonists instead of a series of political figures. The fascinating part of this film lies in the process of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two young rookie journalists, how they cope with the immense pressure and internal fear to persist their work, which outshines its contemporary peers.
Pitifully I am not familiar with director Alan’s other work (I need to watch KLUTE and SOPHIE’S CHOICE desperately), but he manages nicely with the pace of the narrative and make the mundane procedures of journalists quite gripping. Surely a part of which should accredit to the DP(Gordon Willis), apart from the creepy scenes with Deep Throat in the parking lot at 2 a.m., several overlooking shots are fantastically matching with the cruel pettiness of each individual.
The film won Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards (a decent win) and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Jane Alexander (a mesmerizing 8-minute performance) plus other winning and major nominations in the Oscar (as it was a box office hit at that year too), unfortunately didn’t won Best Picture or Best Director.
Interestingly this film boosts the image of journalism, which I do show more respect to after watching it, but strangely enough at the same time it also kills its charisma too, as before I do have a passion to switch to become a journalist, but now, I feel more reluctant because as a journalist, your written work always means less than the topic, I don’t want to become a paparazzi regardless it is political or recreational.
After all it is a well-done mainstream political thriller (owing a lot to Redford’s endeavor as the producer, I am looking forward to his new film as a director this year, THE CONSPIRATOR, also a political thriller), it proves that Hollywood occasionally could export some good stuff besides huge quantities of instant garbages.