Hard-nosed Reporting
Veronica Guerin
Review by Ross Anthony

The film is based on the true story of a journalist so driven to expose the high-level illegal drug distributors in Ireland that she risks life and limb. Cate Blanchett, as Veronica, takes her questions first to the junkies, then to the cops, then directly to the local criminals and drug lords, until her unsettling investigation reaches the boiling point.

Set in Dublin, mid-1990's, the story itself is serious, interesting and important. However, Blanchett's performance feels strained. Especially when trying to fit in at home with the family. And although you'll no doubt respect Guerin's courage and conviction, you may not enjoy her character, or at least as it's presented here.

I enjoyed Ciaran Hinds in an interesting role as John Trainer, a mid-level criminal with a hot/cold friendship with Veronica. For the most part, the somber touching ending plays strong (the subtle inclusion of "The Monk" accents well), elsewise, the film engages generally average.

Producer Bruckheimer: "I like to tell stories about individuals who make a difference in the world and are role models for future generations. To me, that's Veronica Guerin. She is one of those people who changed Ireland and the way people thought about drugs and criminals. She is a person that other generations should know about."

Actress Blanchett: "I never make a judgment on any of the characters I play. I don't fall in love with them, just as I don't despise them. There is no value in doing that. I think it is very easy, with the wisdom of hindsight, for people who don't participate, those on the sidelines, to moralize about the people who are at the center of life. Something Veronica once said in an interview, I find inspiring: 'You can't solve a problem until you understand it.' That was one of the keys to her character for me."

  • Veronica Guerin. Copyright © 2003.
  • Starring Cate Blanchett, Gerrard McSorley, Ciaran Hinds, Brenda Fricker, Don Wycherley, Barry Barnes.
  • Directed by Joel Schumacher.
  • Screenplay by Carol Doyle, Mary Agnes Donoghue.
  • Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer at Touchstone.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:43:12 PDT