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State of Play

Tom's Recommended Film of the Week


State of Play

Even though I do watch a lot of films, I do not have the budget to buy large numbers of DVD's. My method? I use our local library lending system. It's free and they have a great selection of both new and classic titles. Patience is a plus though, as others have discovered the public library gold mine as well and I often have to wait weeks or even months to get a popular film.

Our library system has a very nice search engine, which I often use to discover interesting films. Another way I locate potential DVD's for viewing is by always viewing the trailers on each DVD I watch. You can often find unusual, off-beat films in the trailer section of a film you enjoyed, give it atry and let me know how it works for you.

That trailer watching system is how I discovered State of Play, this weeks recommendation. When I watched the trailer, it looked good, so I located the DVD in my public library system and placed it on hold. A month or so later the DVD arrived and last Sunday I opened it up to watch. It was only then that I discovered that what I had was not a two hour film, but a six hour series! State of Play turned out to be a 350 minute, six part BBC series, so I watched three hours, then a football game, another three hours and the another football game and though I do like football, I must admit, State of Playwas better.

The script by Paul Abbottwas good, the acting outstanding and production qualtiy and direction by David Yateswas just what you would expect from the BBC.

I have heard that a film company in the U.S. is working on a movie versionof the miniseries, but it is hard to see how the BBC series could be bettered. The cast listing for the movie is stellar though, with Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleckand Rachel McAdamsamong others.

The six parter I watched also had a basket full of excellent screen performers such as James McAvoy, John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Polly Walker, David Morrisseyand Bill Nighy.

State of Playgives you a combination of murder mystery, political thriller and investigative detective work all in a journalism package. Hard to ask for more than that, but do leave yourself enough time. At 350 minutes it might be best to spread it out over more than the one day I squeezed it into!