Broadcast News Response
February 22, 2011
Art of the Motion Picture
The Quirky Actors of the Newsroom
James L. Brooks is famous for his character-driven romantic dramedies such as Terms of Endearment and As Good as It Gets, and Broadcast News is one of his best. The writing is smart, the subject matter is the inner working of TV news is both compelling and informative, and the acting is superb. A toast to the beginning of the film, which shows the film’s three foremost characters in youth and then slides to a future look at what they will eventually grow up to be. It’s an original approach that’s half humor and half commentary and wonderfully foretelling. Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks do grand acting jobs, and Brooks serves as a sort of moral compass for the film and a good contrast to Hunter’s motivated yet romantically uncertain character and John Hurt who plays the pretty boy or the clown. They both roam around with no purpose and do as they please with never a thought as to their possible effect on those around them. Hurt is outstanding as a guy who is too beautiful and charismatic to fall short, no matter what his feelings are in the matter. He is acutely aware of limitations of his intelligence and ability, and is trying work in spite of those. Holly Hunter’s very distinctive accent deserves a slug, especially when you get to where the novelty wears off and you realize it’s the exact opposite of sexy. Then Joan Cusack started talking and I realized just how annoying annoying can get. She’s only in the movie about five minutes, but each one is excruciating.