I really enjoyed the movie State of Play. The casting was perfect. Russell Crowe in his best role since The Insider (I include Gladiator in that assessment), Rachel McAdams as the younger journalist, Helen Mirren as the Editor, Robin Wright Penn as the love interest and Jason Bateman as a source . I even thought Ben Affleck (criticised in some reviews) was good. The film was well paced and had a great story. This is what made me look up the original BBC mini series from 2003 that the film is based on. What immediately stuck me about the BBC version was that it was simply better in every way to the film version.
Given the six hour format it was able to better develop the plot and more importantly the characters. This is most noticeable in the show stealing performance by Bill Nighy as the newspaper editor Cameron Foster. A part taken by Helen Mirren (renamed Cameron Lynne) in the film. Although Mirren was good, Nighy was brilliant making me laugh out loud on several occasions in a program that is far from comedy.
Anyone who enjoyed the film should see the mini series. Anyone who didn’t like the film should give the mini series a chance. This really is quality TV drama that doesn’t come out of the BBC often enough these days. I can’t believe I missed it first time around on TV.