Review: ‘Broadcast News’

Enormously entertaining, Broadcast News is an inside look at the personal and professional lives of three TV journlists.

Enormously entertaining, Broadcast News is an inside look at the personal and professional lives of three TV journlists.

Brooks gently punctures the self-importance of his characters with a sly satrical edge. When veteran reporter Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) and hard-nosed producer Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) go to the jungles of Central America to report on the revolution, the results are too humorous and self-serving to take seriously.

Where Craig and Altman are seasoned professionals with great talent, Tom Grunick (William Hurt) is a slick ex-sportscaster who knows how to turn on the charm and seduce an audience. But is it news, his colleagues wonder.

Tom loves himself and loves Jane. In short it’s a case of scrambled emotions among people who heretofore have substituted work for pleasure.

Hunter is simply superb barking out orders from a mouth contorted with who-knows-what emotions. As the neurotic but brilliant reporter, Brooks gives an insightful performance while communicating his character’s guardedness and anguish. As the hardest of the characters to read, Hurt does a good job keeping up the mystery so one never knows when he’s sincere or faking, and maybe he doesn’t either.

1987: Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (William Hurt), Actress (Holly Hunter), Supp. Actor (Albert Brooks), Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing

Broadcast News

Production

Gracie/20th Century-Fox. Director James L. Brooks; Producer James L. Brooks; Screenplay James L. Brooks; Camera Michael Ballhaus; Editor Richard Marks; Music Bill Conti; Art Director Charles Rosen

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 131 MIN.

With

William Hurt Albert Brooks Holly Hunter Robert Prosky Lois Chiles Jack Nicholson

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