Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Paper


A great cast, with Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid (before he got plumb crazy) and Robert Duvall. They all work at a New York Tabloid, and we see the sleazy conferences where they follow the old adage “If it bleeds, it leads.” Then they get a story where they know they are being led down the garden path by the NYPD, concerning two entirely innocent black young men accused of a vicious murder. As usual, Keaton, as the crusading one, neglects everything else in his life to get to the bottom of the story, and I eventually wondered, really? Is it worth it to wreck all your relationships and your profession for this story? Not that I didn’t think it was important, but the crux of the problem turns on whether they would publish the story of the exoneration of the men today … or print a retraction tomorrow. If this were a story of guys about to be executed, or even tried, I can see the urgency. But though twenty-four hours in the slammer is no picnic (I speak from personal experience), this was not really a life-or-death situation. It’s a good film, but not remarkable in any way.