“With her bravura turn in Rod Lurie‘s engrossing political drama Nothing But The Truth, Kate Beckinsale has staked a strong claim for her first Academy Award nomination,” wrote Tom Teodorczuk in a 9.9 posting on the Evening Standard site.
“The native Londoner, who now lives in Los Angeles, excels as Washington, DC journalist Rachel Armstrong who spends two years behind bars for refusing to cave in to government pressure to reveal her source.
“Lurie, himself a former journalist and high school contemporary of Barack Obama, has loosely based his film on the imprisonment of New York Times writer Judith Miller in 2005 for contempt of court after she refused to testify to a Grand Jury investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. (Joe Wilson, Plame’s husband and former acting ambassador to Iraq, had been openly critical of the Iraqi invasion.)
“Substitute Venezuela for Iraq, Armstrong for Miller and Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga) for Plame.
“Having been initially hopeful that her scoop blowing Van Doren’s cover as a CIA operative would ‘bring down the White House’, Armstrong refuses to buckle to the attempts of prosecutor Patton Dubois (Matt Dillon) to persuade her to divulge the source and is imprisoned.
“Lurie’s fictional variations on the complex Miller-Plame case blur the boundaries of his characters’ personal and professional lives and allows Nothing But The Truth to escape from its source material.
“Lurie clearly supports the notion that journalists should not be imprisoned for refusing to disclose their sources.
“But his primary focus is on delivering an absorbing political yarn and not a half-baked civics class in the vein of Robert Redford‘s dire Lions For Lambs.”