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Now on DVD – State of Play

July 5, 2008

State of Play is the name of a six-hour BBC miniseries which is finally available on this side of the pond after a five-year wait. It is a fantastic political drama very much in the vein of All the Presidents Men about a British newspaper’s investigative department and the parliamentary scandal they uncover. The writing and acting are superb, and the directing by David Yates, who directed the most recent Harry Potter film, is top notch for a television drama.

The two leads in the series (pictured above) are played by John Simm as a reporter and David Morrissey as a member of Parliament. Both actors are virtually unknown in this country, but are fantastic and I hope they get more work in film. Rounding out the terrific cast is Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Shaun of the Dead) as the editor of the London newspaper, James McAvoy (Atonement) as an investigative writer and Kelly Macdonald (Gosford Park, No Country for Old Men) as another key member of the newspaper team.

Split into six 1-hour episodes, the story unfolds at a nice but intense pace, and deftly explores the themes of how politics, media and big business are sometimes too intertwined for their own good. Although the reporters are the protagonists of the story, things are not so black and white, as characters reckon with their conflicted interests and alliances on all sides of the scandal.

I am a sucker for a good legal, political or investigative thriller and this is one of the best I have seen in any of the sub-genres. I would highly suggest checking it out (Netflix has it) before Hollywood releases their condensed adaptation sometime next year. (It may actually turn out well, Russell Crowe is involved, but I am just skeptical.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2008 9:06 am

    Looks good, I’ll have to check it out, thanks.

  2. Britt permalink
    July 28, 2008 3:52 pm

    Our blockbuster queue is suddenly waning so thanks for the help!

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