Saturday, January 15, 2011

Morning Glory

Morning Glory / Morning Glory. US © 2010 Paramount Pictures. P: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk. D: Roger Michell. SC: Aline Brosh McKenna. DP: Alwin H. Kuchler - shot on 35 mm, anamorphic Panavision - digital intermediate: Company 3 - 2,35:1. PD: Mark Friedberg. Cost: Frank L. Fleming. Makeup: Mindy Hall. Hair: Tarsha Marshall. M: David Arnold. ED: Daniel Farrell, Nick Moore, Steven Weisberg. Cast: Rachel McAdams (Becky Fuller), Harrison Ford (Mike Pomeroy), Diane Keaton (Colleen Peck), Jeff Goldblum (Jerry Barnes), Ty Burrell (Paul McVee), Patrick Wilson (Adam Bennett), Patti D'Arbanville (Becky's mother). 109 min. Released in Finland by Finnkino with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Jaana Wiik / Marko Hietikko. 2k DCP viewed at Tennispalatsi 3, Helsinki, 15 Jan 2011

“The world has been debating news vs. entertainment for years, and guess what? You lost!” This is the background idea of this entertainment film. The world has changed since The Network and The Broadcast News, and Morning Glory is a comedy about the desperate fight to keep the morning television news programme Daybreak afloat as entertainment. Daybreak is under threat to be cancelled and replaced with soap opera and game shows, but would that make a big difference?

The story is served as audience-pleasing entertainment. We have the legendary veteran investigative journalist Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) who has been fired and who can't help being cast as co-host of the morning news programme, which he does his best to sabotage. The female host (Diane Keaton) seems to have resigned into the infotainment mode. Mike Pomeroy has been the model of integrity and professionalism for Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams), now his boss, who has to cajole him to play along with the banal new world of the media. "Gravity leavens the silliness of morning tv", mutters Pomeroy.

The film-makers are expert audience-pleasers (Roger Michell directed Notting Hill, Aline Brosh McKenna wrote The Devil Wears Prada). In Morning Glory the focus of the satire is blurred because of their audience-pleasing motivations. It is remarkable that in a film about television news we never hear any substantial news theme being discussed, although we live in a time of devastating global news issues. There is a lot of talent involved, and they could have achieved a great movie.

I have no complaints with the DCP.

PS 17 Jan 2011. Upon reflection the feature of Morning Glory I like best is its account of leadership.  Becky seems very uncertain on her first day at the office but she immediately takes charge and fires the worst troublemaker, the current male anchor, to save the workplace atmosphere. I find in this much that is authentic and relevant.

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