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Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Paper (1994)

24 hours in the day of a New York tabloid newspaper! After two young African-Americans are arrested for the racial killing of two white businessmen, the news editor (Michael Keaton) gets a tip that the boys are innocent and the cops know it. The next 24 hours are spent trying to get an inside police source to confirm this and break the story before the other papers get it. Apparently, the director Ron Howard did a lot of research before shooting the film but you'd never know it from the trite dialog or the nonsensical situations the characters find themselves in. Keaton's not a strong enough actor to make his glib newspaper man believable though to be fair, he seems to be playing it strictly as a comedy while some of the other actors like Robert Duvall and Glenn Close manage to balance both the comedic and dramatic elements in their characters and story elements. The film's fast pacing and rapid fire overlapping dialog indicate Howard was highly influenced by Howard Hawks' classic 1940 newspaper comedy HIS GIRL FRIDAY. Randy Newman did the spare score. With Jason Robards, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid, Jason Alexander, Catherine O'Hara, Spalding Gray, Lynne Thigpen, Jill Hennessy and William Prince.

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