VERONICA GUERIN: DVD
The true story of Irish journalist Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) who in the mid 90s became a crusading journalist determined to expose the drug dealers who were ruining so many lives, amassing fortunes that couldn't be used to incriminate them or be touched. Threatened, beaten but never cowed, Guerin - a wife and mother - paid with her life for her bravery but not in vain: Irish laws were quickly passed on her death, and several drug dealers she was pursuing were arrested, tried and jailed.
Review by Louise Keller:
Based on the true story about a national Irish heroine, Veronica Guerin is an inspiring tale about a respected journalist and a much admired human being. A splendid film in every sense, there's an unbeatable team both behind and in front of the camera. Joel Schumacher is intuitive in his direction of this Jerry Bruckheimer project, and a thoughtful, intelligent script by Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches, White Oleander) entices us deep into Veronica's world.
Here we are given a clear understanding of this outstanding woman who wears courage and determination like an armour, carefully hiding her vulnerability and personal fears. Harry Gregson-Williams's Celtic-themed score brings a unique style and mood, blending the rhythms of the culture with his effective use of lively tunes and electric violins.
Cate Blanchett perfectly cast as Veronica Guerin, gives yet another dazzling performance and one on which she effortlessly puts her individual stamp, without impacting on the authenticity of the character she is representing. Physically and emotionally, Blanchett is unbeatable; her Veronica is a communicator with a manner that promotes confidences and relationships. She is as comfortable kicking a ball around in her back yard with her young son, as pumping her sleazy criminal contacts for information, or charming the police to turn a blind eye as she looks through their records and files.
Whether wearing a tailored suit or comfortable at-home gear, Veronica is smart, sassy and uses her feminine wiles without compromising her toughness. 'I don't want to do it; I have to do it,' she tells her husband, when he tries to dissuade her from the obviously dangerous situation she has placed herself in. She has no qualms about putting herself in the firing line; her car is red and sporty and she keeps a high profile. Her relationship with Ciaran Hinds' informer John Traynor is fascinating; theirs is indeed a push-me, pull-me one, and Hinds' performance is riveting. But all the cast is excellent, and Schumacher has even roped in Colin Farrell (following their collaboration in Phone Booth) for a cameo role.
Thrilling and at times terrifying, Veronica Guerin is a tough story that perfectly balances the personal with the professional. A woman driven to do 'something worthwhile', even at her own peril, this is the story of someone who cares enough to want to makes a difference. And make a difference she did. A totally satisfying cinematic experience, Veronica Guerin is haunting, intelligent filmmaking at its best.
An intelligent behind the scenes featurette includes interviews with Cate Blanchett, director Joel Schumacher and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, as well as real-life footage of the real Veronica Guerin. Interviews with her real-life brother and Sunday Independent journalist are also included. Blanchett tells of her first meeting with Schumacher while Schumacher describes the responsibility he took on in order to tell this story. There's an conversation with Bruckheimer: 'Cate was the only choice', plus there are two commentaries, a deleted scene and a feature in which Guerin accepts an award at the Committee to protect journalists.
Published June 17, 2004
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VERONICA GUERIN: DVD (M15+)
CAST: Cate Blanchett, Gerard McSorley, Ciaran Hinds, Barry Barnes, Joe Hanley, David Murray, Karl Shiels, Brenda Fricker
DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher
SCRIPT: Carol Doyle, Mary Agnes Donoghue (story by Carol Doyle)
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen; dolby digital
SPECIAL FEATURES: A conversation with Jerry Bruckheimer; Audio Commentaries; deleted scene; Feature - Public Mask, Private Fears; Veronica Guerin Speaks at the Committee to Protect Journalists; Producer's Photo Diary
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE
DVD RELEASE: June 16, 2004 (Rental)