Title: Quiz Show
Genre: Drama, History
Director: Robert Redford
Richard N. Goodwin
QUIZ SHOW is a BEST PICTURE nominee of Oscar Race of 1994, the fourth film with Robert Redford at the helm, and earned him a second Oscar nomination for BEST DIRECTOR, but overtly its popularity has waned compared with its more esteemed fellow nominees (FORREST GUMP; THE SHAWNSHANK REDEMPTION; PULP FICTION and even FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL).
The authentic case of a young lawyer takes on a lawsuit case against the television chicanery has its general appeal together with its well-crafted characterization of the disparaging facets of the people who are implicated, the film runs smoothly to warrant a step-by-step incitement of moral inclination (either towards the contestants or the industry upper-echelon’s entertainment-is-the-golden-rule motto and cheekiness). But eventually the sense-and-sensibility tug-of-war leans towards one sole individual, Charles Van Doren, a posh, demure young professor from a prestigious family, which certainly is not a false-move but Redford has it overkilled by his fatal deadening of the court procedures and simplifies the case to a degree of somewhat insultingly paying no heed to audience’s I.Q., even though one would prefigure the superior stratum could get away with the charge, the story behind a producer swallowing all the liabilities and knowingly accepting to be the scapegoat should never be as concise as the film suggests, pitifully (but smartly) to the core of entertainment, Redford opts to a more crowd-pleasing route and Ralph Fiennes’ personal charisma is the kill. Performance-wise, Fiennes, Turturro, Scofield are the three pillars, Morrow is the weakest link and bombed in displaying his top-student wisdom to tackle with the issue (particularly in a practical way).
Due to the media difference, motion pictures somehow are allowed utilizing the poetic license when putting the real-life complex cases onto the big screen, so Redford shouldn’t bear all the blame and anyhow the film is an above-average product out of Hollywood assembly line, what’s more important its sarcastic and caustic depiction of the reality show business and the social standard of how media could manipulate its faithful audience has still been relevant hitherto.