This film tells the true story of fraudulent Washington, D.C. journalist Stephen Glass (Christensen), who rose to meteoric heights as a young writer in his 20s, becoming a staff writer at The New Republic for three years (1995-1998), where 27 of his 41 published stories were either partially or completely made up. Looking for a short cut to fame, Glass concocted sources, quotes and even entire stories, but his deception did not go unnoticed forever, and eventually, his world came crumbling down...
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"Shattered Glass" is the unbelievable true story of Stephen Glass; a rising young star at "The New Republic" magazine in the late 1990's who's abrupt downfall is almost identical to that of Jayson Blair. Consider the similarities between the two men's stories, both were successful young journalists at famous news publications (Blair, incase you didn't already know, worked at the Old Gray Lady, "The New York Times") until it was found that they both had concocted most of their most popular news stories. In light of the Blair scandal, "Shattered Glass" is even more fascinating for audiences to watch. Aside from its subject matter, "Shattered Glass" is a wonderful film in its own right. The script is quick and snappy, the acting stellar, and the film itself is remarkably suspenseful considering we already know how it's going to end before even setting foot in the theater. I was surprised to find myself so deeply involved in this film and so concerned for Stephen Glass. Audiences will either sympathize with Glass, as I did, and understand that it was the pressures of journalism that drove him to lie or they will find him to be repulsive liar. I find it interesting that the filmmakers seem undecided on whether or not they have sympathy for Glass and thus leave Glass's morality for us to judge. While I sympathized with Glass, my father took an entirely opposite stance. I love it when a film strikes up a bit of debate!Hayden Christensen nailed this role. For those of you out there left with a bad impression of Christensen after the "Star Wars" debacle, fear not, he more than proves himself in this film. One might think his portrayal of Glass is overdone; the puppy dog earnestness, the nauseating sweetness, the impeccable manners; it all seems a bit much. However, that is what Glass was/is really like. Interviews upon interviews with Glass's coworkers and the man himself show this. I admire Christensen for his ability to portray such an "over-the-top" character.
This review is from: Shattered Glass (DVD) "Shattered Glass" is a stunning and fantastic film, and I can't believe it took me this long to finally watch it. I never really saw it advertised when it was out in theatres. A very rare thing happened when I watched this... I watched it again, immediately. Then, I watched it again the next day. Not too many movies can do that for me, but this one did and it is a fine film based on a true story that will have you asking the question, "What news source can I really trust?"Stephen Glass is the youngest reporter working for "The New Republic," a well respected news magazine. He's nice to everybody and he does his best to make everyone happy. His news stories make him a star, since he sometimes goes undercover to get the story. However, that all changes when his sources and facts become questionable on a piece that he did on a hackers conference. When the new editor of "The New Republic," Chuck Lane realizes that there's a problem and confronts Glass, and going over his sources and facts one by one, a whole avalanche is created and this once prominent news reporter is exposed for what he truly is.I have to admit that I never heard this story before, so I was even more shocked when I watched the film. I love true stories like this, because it gives you an interesting take on past events... and this is a scandal that isn't even really that old! The film does a great job of hooking you in from the very first minute. Writer and Director Billy Ray knew that this was an important story to tell, and he achieves that by showing us all with his craft. He gives us all of the necessary pieces to the puzzle, never leaving a moment that is nothing more but "filler." The movie is constructed and executed flawlessly, if you want my honest opinion.These actors are no longer actors in our eyes, but they become the actual real people. And because there aren't too many big names in this movie, that makes it all the more realistic. I didn't even recognize Hayden Christensen when I first saw him, and he was able to convince me that he was in fact "Stephen Glass." Yet, I have to say that the real showstopper is Peter Sarsgaard, who plays "Chuck Lane." He is an absolute juggernaut, because he doesn't seem like a major player at the beginning. He's very quiet and non-threatening, but then when you're not expecting it he goes for the gusto and really delivers one memorable performance.The DVD doesn't have a whole lot to offer, but the little things that are included are extremely worth-while. Extras included are commentary by Billy Ray and the real Chuck Lane (although this isn't mentioned on the box) and a "60 Minutes" piece that is an interview with the real Stephen Glass. I highly recommend checking out the interview, for you will see how perfectly Christensen played him. I do wish that the DVD could've included a little more, as I'm sure there were more news channels that followed this unbelievable story. Still, that is the only thing that I found lacking and that really has nothing to do with the actual film."Shattered Glass" is extremely entertaining and surprisingly revealing. Again, I went into this never hearing of this scandal, but now that I know a little more about it I would like to find out more. If you're interested in movies based on true events, then this is really something you should see. It's a pretty short movie, so it's not like it would even take up your entire night. This has quickly become a new favorite of mine, and I can see myself watching this movie again very soon. An excellent film that should've gotten more recognition. -Michael Crane
...Although Im not sure anyone else would enjoy this. I am on myschool's newspaper, and we watched this in my journalism class. Ithought it was...pretty decent. This movie doesn't have anything foundin a typical Hollywood movie, however. There is no violence, there isnothing sexual, and the biggest thing at stake is a job. The charactersare never in any physical danger. A movie centering on journalists thatwould have a much bigger mass appeal is Russel Crowe's State of Play. Ithink this was also a better written movie.Still, Shattered Glass is interesting. The story is actually a trueone, based on the controversy around a reporter, Stephen Glass, whomade up stories and published them in national newspapers. The pace candrag on at times, but that's to be expected, again, because of thecomplete absence of many Hollywood tent poles.As far as casting goes, I really enjoyed Peter Sarsgaard in this, but Icontinue to wonder why Hayden Christensen has ever been cast in movies.All I can say for him is that he isn't as atrocious here as he is manyother films. And the story about how bad a journalist really can screwup was interesting, interesting enough to cover Christensen's mediocreperformance.The film is also fairly surrealistic. It is a very psychologicallyoriented film. This is not to excess, but Glass is not always "present"in his actual life, as he resides in his idealized fantasy. Some ofthese sequences can add an air of confusion to the atmosphere. Therewere certain points that left me wondering "What just happened?"Shattered Glass, just based on it's concept never had even theslightest potential to become a Hollywood blockbuster. This was still adecent, if flawed movie. In the hands of a more capable director, witha better lead actor, though, it still could have been much better. Assoon as it ended, I was left with a feeling of slight confusion. Afterseveral more minutes of deep reflection I was able to ascertain whathad happened. And while I was completely disappointed with the film asa whole, it still left me somewhat underwhelmed.
Directed and written by first-timer Billy Ray, this is a surprisingly effective character study told from the outside, as the protagonist remains a cipher throughout the story. In the central role, Hayden Christensen portrays journalist Stephen Glass, a writer for the Washington D.C.-based current events magazine, The New Republic, a publication whose staff is largely comprised of people under the age of thirty. As with any movie about the press from "The Front Page" to "All the President's Men", the need to get the best story first has always been key to the plot since it's an inherent part of the news business. But this time out, the journalist violates the cardinal rule of crossing into fiction with 27 of 41 stories he wrote for the magazine over two years, an unforgivable breach that throws the integrity of the news business out the window. The first half of the film focuses on Glass, a protÃ©gÃ© of the magazine's late editor, Michael Kelly, and as such, an ambitious toady who insinuates himself into news staff with his imagination and talent. He effortlessly woos his co-workers with exhilarating story pitches delivered at staff meetings, so well positioned is he that his fabricated stories get past the magazine's fact checkers with ease. But from the get-go, there is something one cannot trust or respect about Glass, and Christensen is effective in showing these unattractive layers by emphasizing the juvenile, "like-me" behavior. After the beloved Kelly gets fired and unpopular new editor Chuck Lane takes over, Glass' world really begins to unravel when Adam Penenberg, a writer for the online magazine Forbes Digital, catches wind of Glass' story entitled "Hack Heaven," allegedly about a teenage computer hacker who manages to strike a lucrative deal working for a software company that he had attacked. When Penenberg begins to unravel the untruths, the pressure comes down hard and heavy on Glass, and this is where Ray's outside view of Glass proves invaluable since the perspective of the film switches to Lane in the second half. Clearly conflicted about Glass, Lane seeks the truth unabated with the clear mission to uphold the reputation of The New Republic. A subtle actor of precise technique, Peter Sarsgaard easily gives the film's best performance as Lane. There's an intensity that builds so believably, but is skillfully contained, especially in scenes when he's asked to unleash his anger and frustration. As he proves subsequently in "Kinsey", Sarsgaard has a constant aura of wariness that suits this role as well. The film shows Lane both at home and at work, and portrays him as a man who takes both duties seriously. Recognizable actors fill out the rest of the cast fitfully - an almost sedate Steve Zahn as Penenberg, a rather sanctimonious Hank Azaria as Kelly, a comparatively low-key Chloë Sevigny as a fact checker at the magazine.Most importantly, this 2003 movie shows the truth can be harder to obtain than most would imagine. With more information options available than ever, the importance of questioning one's sources can never be overstated. I have to say that the movie does veer sometimes into TV-movie-style twists and turns, which prevents it from resonating more thoroughly, but for a first-time directorial effort, Ray does a fine job conveying his message of compromised ethics and their ramifications on a free press. The DVD includes an intriguing "60 Minutes" interview with the real Glass, and the film is backed by a commentary track from Ray and the real Lane.
"Shattered Glass" is the true story of the rise and fall of Stephen Glass (Hayden Christenson), a young reporter who fabricated stories for the "New Republic." Christenson does an excellent job of portraying this confused and tormented young man. This film is a must-see for anyone who is interestesd or works in the field of journalism. It describes the constant stress and pressure that journalists are under for finding creative stories and beating out their competition.
The public-at-large loves a good scandal, and in 1998, the scandalinvolving Stephen Glass was a pretty darn good one. It turned out thatGlass, a young prodigy who was writing for several magazines, butprimarily for the prestigious 'New Republic' ('the in-flight magazineof Air Force One') had fabricated some or all of 21 of his 41well-received stories; a scandal that rocked the journalism world andwas picked up by the general public and was later repeated with JaysonBlair. 'Shattered Glass', co-written and directed by Billy Ray examines thistrue-life story, with Hayden Christensen playing Glass and PeterSarsgaard as his editor, Chuck Lane. I have never seen Christensen'swork in anything else until this point, and I was impressed by hisacting chops. He was able to handily express Glass's desperate need foracceptance and his compulsive and repulsively cunning nature so wellthat the viewer, when faced with the dilemma of how to feel about thisman, can only watch numbly as the train wreck that becomes his lifecareens further out of control. Sarsgaard, as usual, is fantastic asthe fair and decent-minded Lane, the editor who first tries to help andprotect Glass, but then, after digging deeper, finds that there is alot more to the man than sloppy journalism. It is actually surprising to me that 'Shattered Glass' became a film. Iremember reading a Vanity Fair piece on Glass back when the scandalbroke, and that, and the myriad other articles seemed to be sufficientexposure. The fact that 'Shattered Glass' was released five years afterthe scandal settled down, and that it is a compelling screenplay andfilm is a testimony to Ray's (a first time director) talent. 'ShatteredGlass' is gut-wrenching in that it is difficult to watch because theviewer knows how deep Glass digs himself, and it's not necessarily funto watch. 'Shattered Glass' is an intelligent, well-done film and Iwould definitely recommend it to anyone who appreciates that a filmdoesn't have to be showy in order to make an impact.--Shel
A young D.C. journalist (new "Star Wars" trilogy star HaydenChristensen) for The New Republic political magazine falsifies data andproduces fraudulent stories. Slowly but surely his would-be meteoricrise turns into a dizzying downfall. "Boys Don't Cry" alums PeterSaarsgard and Chloe Sevigny are out of this world as Christensen'seditor and supportive co-worker. Based on a true story, the picture hasa tense documentary feel to it that makes it highly engrossing andfascinating early. The production does begin to tire late though asChristensen's crazed personality starts to come shining through withdementedly over-the-top results. Still a well-paced and intelligenttake on American journalism and the pressures associated with thefield. Worth a legitimate chance. 4 stars out of 5.
A well written story also directed by Billy Ray based on BuzzBissinger's articles about a young talent that destroyed itself.Stephen Glass(Hayden Christensen)was a twenty-something writer thatwent from writing minor stories to turning into a much sought afterfree-lance whiz kid turning in respected work for "Rolling Stone"."George" and "Harpers" while working for "The New Republic". Glassmanaged to endear himself with a shy and self degrading personality;but was actually pretty sly and manipulative. His amazing and insiderexpose articles seemed just too good to be true. Then the bubbleburst...it was revealed that more than half of his published articleswere in fact nothing but lies. He wrote of people that did not exist;wrote of events that did not even happen and to make things believable,he faked notes, contacts and even web sites to back himself up. Heduped his fellow journalist, editors and publishers. Glass was aflawed, but very talented person that starved for acceptance andadmiration. A very strong supporting cast that features: Hank Azaria,Peter Sarsgaard, Chloe Sevigny, Melanie Lynskey and Steve Zahn.
If this was fiction it would be hard to believe but truth, as thesaying goes, is stranger. Stephen Glass was a brilliant young writerwho at the age of twenty-four was writing stories for the New Republicand Rolling Stone and as far as the New Republic was concerned, storiesare what they were, works of fiction with not a shred of truth in themposing as breakthrough journalism. Glass's deception finally came tolight when he published a piece on computer hackers and was exposed byan on-line journal who discovered that companies and sources mentioneddidn't exist.Billy Ray's film plays like a good thriller. You know the outcome butyou are on the edge of your seat as piece by piece Glass's elaboratelyconstructed jigsaw comes apart. Soon Glass himself becomes the subjectof an in-depth expose, in this case by his editor, Chuck Lane, and asLane digs deeper into his reporter's story it is Glass who starts tofall apart.In these two roles, Hayden Christensen as Glass and Peter Sarsgaard asLane give terrific performances, Christensen especially capturing thearrogant. delusional Glass to the very life. It is hard to believe thatthis is the same actor whose performances in Lucas' Star Wars moviesare so trite. Sarsgaard needs no recommendation, however, continuing toimpress as one of the best young actors in movies today.
Brilliant portrayal of this total fabricator that duped The New Republic and others with his articles in the 90's. But the defining moment comes in the 60 MINUTES interview with the real Stephen Glass which is on the DVD as well. I wanted to reach through the screen and punch this man - what a piece of work.He looks right at the camera and continues to create this sense that he was not responsible for the stories that he made up and the damage he did. That he is a victim of ... ? Society, work, pressure - he keeps pushing the theme that he just wants to be loved/liked/forgiven. And he's pursuing a career in law.How apropos.
While Sean Penn grabs the headlines for his emotive bluster in Mystic River,Peter Sarsgaard gives a brilliantly measured performance as editor Chuck Lane.
Smart about good vs. evil.
Shattered Glass is a film about journalism, and despite the testimonyof director Billy Ray, that is what this is. The flashiness of thestorytelling is arresting, but there is little else here other than alesson on journalistic principles. That is what turned me away from it.There's no human story and Christensen does not exactly chew up thescenery. Sarsgaard is great in a supporting role and Zahn gets a juicypart as a reporter who stumbles onto the deceit. The filmmaking doesnot seem to want to incorporate a wide audience, but rather thoseinterested in journalism. For me, that was a hang-up, though manycritics thought otherwise. Subjective to personal interest.
A powerful drama about real people whose stories carry a crucial message for our times
This review is from: Shattered Glass (DVD) I found this movie to be well written and very well acted. I am very pleased with this purchase and I give it a thumbs up.
...about non-true stories, and the man who told them.I had the pleasure of seeing this movie in the theatre, when it first came out. It's a horrifying tale of a trusted reporter, the people who trust him, and how that trust is misplaced....and how, finally, the pack of lies collapses under scrutiny.Excellent performances by all involved. Nowhere within the movie do the actors remind me that they are just actors--very convincing performances especially on the part of Sarsgaard and Christensen. Definitely an art-house movie..no explosions, shootings, or sex...just thoughtful scenes, building to an emotional crescendo.Hopefully, a movie like this is required in journalism ethics classes.
I love The New Republic magazine and have a subscription. But I started reading it a mere two years ago, well after the scandal of 1998, in which a Stephen Glass, a boy-wonder reporter, was proven to have fabricated no less than 27 stories. How could this have happened in this staid political magazine, which hadn't changed much since its early beginnings in 1914 and is so low key that it doesn't even have photographs? Well, Stephen Glass, brilliantly played by Hayden Christensen, was likable. He was the self-effacing, quiet type who would bring lunch to a fellow-staff member on a deadline. He told humorous stories and kept people smiling. And, most of all, he wrote the kind of stories that everyone wanted to write. His writing was always peppered with the kind of quotes that put life into the story. And he was excellent at his craft. Everyone loved him. Problem was that most of his stories were partially or completely fabricated. When veteran editor, Jack Kelly, is fired, one of the writers, Chuck Lane is promoted to take his place. Everyone hates him because they had loved the older editor. Peter Sasgaard plays this role with just the right amount of angst of a young man who is slightly unsure of himself and has been given difficult job to do. And, as the story of Stephen Glass's lies begins to break, we all can identify with this harried editor. This time Steven Glass had gone too far. He wrote a story about a convention of hackers and a young teenager who was courted by and awarded some big bucks to work for the company he just had hacked. When the online publication ForbesOnline, saw this story, they immediately started asking questions about Glass's sources. Stephen Glass began to lie. The lies got bigger. His excuses got stranger. He even created a false website and some false voice-mail boxes. His own editor wanted to believe him. But the evidence mounted. And, eventually Glass was discovered and fired. All this took place a mere six years ago but I couldn't help being reminded at how technically advanced we've all come since then. And Glass was able to get away with some things just because his editor was unwise in the world of computers. I really did get into the story, which was well paced and well acted. And then, as a special bonus on the DVD, there was a recent interview with Glass from "60 Minutes". Glass says he's reformed after years of therapy and has recently written a novel. He has also graduated from law school and now has a law degree. Whether or not he'll ever be able to practice law is in question, however, due to his background. He came across as sincere and believable. But we all now understand that he always was able to do that. Frankly, I would never trust him.
This review is from: Shattered Glass (DVD) I teach writing in a summer bridge program for students about to enter college, and this year I decided to show this film and ask students to write about it. My students (all low-income first generation in college) loved the movie and became very interested in the story. Some of them did outside research (not required) in order to develop their responses. The film generated lots of discussion about ethics and character, but it's so expertly made that you can also spend a lot of time analyzing performances, direction, cinematography, etc. I have now seen it many times, and it never gets boring. In fact, whenever it's on television, I can't stop watching it. Hayden Christensen, PeterSaarsgaard, and Hank Azaria all give very subtle, complex performances, as do all the supporting players. The director's commentary is also very interesting. This one is worth every penny. It's very timely too, given the current problems with journalistic ethics!
A terrific white-knuckler, one that builds up a head of excruciating suspense even though most viewers already know how it ends.
How often are we treated to a movie about the inside world of journalism and journalists- and I'm not talking about those thinly veiled romantic comedies with Julia Roberts or Michelle Pfeiffer or the attempted satire of "Bonfire of the Vanities?" Truth is, other than "All the President's Men," we hardly ever witness how a reporter's story is written and ultimately hits the printed page. "Shattered Glass" is an exception. It is a nearly flawless film about the self-destruction of the real-life, fast-rising media star, Stephen Glass, former reporter and associate editor for The New Republic magazine. Eager to make his mark as well as his fortune, Glass, portrayed very convincingly against-type by Hayden Christiansen, cannot resist the temptation of substituting fiction for fact to make his contributions more attractive, not to mention publishable and famous. Not only do we see how Glass's imagination, purpoted to be the truth, appeals to his editors, but how easily his ingratiating personality seduces and manipulates the entire TNR staff. Indeed, he is be-friended, admired and envied by his co-workers who seek to emulate his approach and style. His skyrocketing trajectory, however, comes crashing down when a fact-checking writer for the online magazine Forbes Digital Tool begins to question more than a few of the items in one of his stories, "Hack Heaven," which appeared in a May 1998 issue of TNR. Alerted to some of the inconsistencies in Glass's story, unpopular TNR editor Charles Lane, played superbly by Peter Sarsgaard, begins to do some fact checking of his own, methodically unravelling the layers of deception and duplicity until he finally discovers that Glass is merely a pathetic charlatan. In what could have been a dry expose of the inner workings of a highly-regarded, current events and policy publication, Billy Ray, in his directorial debut, presents us with a version of the story as tense and intriguing as any mystery. Its ethical message is disturbing, but as drama, it is simply riveting. To emphasize the poignancy if not the significance of Glass's transgression, Ray also effectively employs the device of juxtaposing the scenes in which Glass is lecturing to a high school class on the fundamentals of reporting against those in which he is composing his stories, that is, fabricating events- which we first see as actually occurring. Anyone who has ever known or crossed paths with the people who exist in this world cannot help but be impressed with the authenticity we find here. Yet, it is a delight even for the uninitiated. With a fine script, great performances and dedicted direction, this is as good as movies can get, combining all those elements to make a compelling, while entertaining, statement.