The Insider (1999)

MICHAEL MANN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

USA, 1999Touchstone Pictures, Forward Pass, Mann/Roth Productions.  Screenplay by , Michael Mann, based on the article The Man Who Knew Too Much by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Michael Mann.  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , , .  

Gripping true-life account of tobacco industry insider Jeffrey Wigand’s experience exposing faulty practices at the large tobacco firm he once worked for, and the ordeal it took to get his interview broadcast on 60 Minutes. Al Pacino is in better shape than he’s been in years as Lowell Bergman, the show’s hard-working producer who fights as hard as he can to keep his informant protected, and Christopher Plummer is a sizzler as 60 Minutes‘ chief interviewer Mike Wallace, the man who interviewed Wigand for the program. Director Michael Mann’s allegedly tyrannical perfectionism has once again paid off and created a fascinating, complex and extremely well-rounded narrative that is helped further along by excellent editing and a first-rate script (which Mann co-wrote with Academy Award-winner Eric Roth) that never descends into character stereotypes or mawkish dialogue. Russell Crowe pretty much steals the show as Wigand, a moral man caught in extremely immoral circumstances who risks losing everything for the sake of telling the truth, much to his wife’s () continued misery.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actor (Russell Crowe); Best Director (Michael Mann); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing; Best Sound

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Russell Crowe); Best Director (Michael Mann); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Best Actor (Russell Crowe)

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