Movies: Shattered Glass and The Cooler

Robert Hessen (who wrote several essays for The Objectivist in the 1960s) forwards us the following two mini-reviews:

Two movies, new on DVD. One is wonderful, the other dismal. Shattered Glass is the story of Stephen Glass, a young writer at The New Republic who, in 1998, was exposed as a fabulist who invented the people and events in his widely-read non-fiction stories. Hayden Christensen plays Glass, whose panic is palpable as his forgeries are about to revealed; Peter Sarsgaard plays Charles Lane, the editor who ferrets out the facts; and Chloe Sevigny is the staff writer who wants to believe Glass is a victim because she finds him so charming and vulnerable. It is a great drama, so the DVD rental fee carries my money-back guarantee.

The other film is The Cooler, which garnered great reviews for William H. Macy’s performance as a man with such bad luck that his touch or mere presence can end a winning streak for high-rollers in the Las Vegas casino where he works to pay off his gambling debts to the casino boss, gangster Alec Baldwin. Fed up with his loveless life, Macy resolves to quit and move away, so Baldwin arranges for a beautiful cocktail waitness, Maria Belli, to seduce him and thus entice him to stay. Unexpectedly, they fall in love, etc. The whole story is preposterous; the plotholes would fill up Grand Canyon. You could better spend the two hours cleaning out your garage or alphabetizing your recipes.

Note also that Shannon Ringvelski wrote a full-length review of Shattered Glass a few months ago for the Atlasphere.