On Second Thought: “Broadcast News”

As films get older, there tends to be so much that goes against it and makes it a dated film. This alone can ruin the experience of the film.

For the Universal Pictures film “Broadcast News”, this film doesn’t seem to suffer from that at all. Even if I’m biased, as I’ve seen this a few times, I don’t see this film being a dull for any new viewer, whether they like the actors or not.

This drama stars William Hurt (“Winter’s Tale”, “Bonnie & Clyde (TV mini-series)”), Albert Brooks (“This is 40”, “Drive”), Holly Hunter (“Bonnie & Clyde (TV mini-series)”, “Top of the Lake”), Robert Prosky (“The Skeptic”, The Valley of Light”), Lois Chiles (“Kettle of Fish”, “Speed 2: Cruise Control”), Joan Cusack (“Shameless”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”), and Jack Nicholson (“How Do You Know”, “The Bucket List”).

This drama was written and directed by James L. Brooks (“How Do You Know”, “Spanglish”).

The film was released on Dec. 25, 1987. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture; among several other award nominations and wins.

When I saw this film was airing again, I had to see it. There was something I recalled from the first time that I liked, but I couldn’t fully figure out what it was.

The actors in this film, in part because of this film, are some of the most well known and gifted actors. They’ve given us so many memorable roles and films and continue to be a part of interesting and diverse projects. These actors are what drew me to this film to begin with, and again. I wasn’t let down by any of them. Each one was so well crafted and likable. They also had flaws. Deep flaws that only helped to make them all the more human.

Hunter’s character, for me, is somehow the one I like the most. In a race she’d come in first, but not by much when looking at Brooks and Hurt. She’s so neurotic and definitely a type A personality person. While this isn’t a bad thing, it gives her a kind of quirky quality. Her mind is almost always stuck at or in work. She also, and this is good, but to a certain degree, takes her work so seriously. She’s passionate. What’s not to love.

The script. It’s a funny script. A clever script. And when watching the film, with the actions and dialogue coming to life through these actors, it makes for one great moment, as well as memorable lines that last through the years.

Like, “It’s hard for me to advise you since you personify something I think truly think is dangerous.”

While that may be one moment of funny dialogue, not to mention memorable, there were other genuine moments. Which is key. Nothing was forced.

The film also touched on what I can assume are how newsrooms work. At least when it comes to office politics. These moments certainly provided enough to shake ones head at and be dismayed. The film also touched on the important ethical questions in the world of journalism and broadcast news. As is seen in the film, some choices by the characters has a pretty profound effect, and it makes sense. A lot differently than Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom”, but I feel like this film has a little bit of idealism in it.

One thing that makes this film interesting is that it’s not just a work place drama or film about news, it’s got bits of romance. It wasn’t hidden and then thrown in, but known from the get go. It was still fun too watch play out. Hunter likes Hurt, and he likes her, but then there’s Brooks’ character, who likes Hunter. It’s an interesting triangle. There’s also a lot of drama from this, which is how the film finds a balance and, overall, works.

Some films are classics for a reason. That reason is usually lost on most modern viewers. This film, probably because of its choice subject matter, will forever be relevant. The medium will change with the time, and show this films age, but the issues presented and types of people, will not cease to be important. These qualities along with good acting, a solid story, and great script will make this film worth watching again and again. A must for those that crave good quality films, which are increasingly harder to find these days. If you do, they’re usually indie’s, which hardly make headlines, and thus, are usually skipped.

The trailer, to do what trailers do:


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