Just saw a movie on TV and just had to write about it. It's that brilliant.
The movie's name is 'Wag the Dog' . And acting in it are two absolute stalwarts - Robert De Niro and the awesome Dustin Hoffman.
The plot is a bit over the top in it's conception but these two make it as believable as ..umm..2+2=4
De Niro plays a spin doctor who works for the President of the United States. This President gets embroiled in a sex scandal with a teenage girl just 11 days prior to his re-election. Obviously the opposition candidate pounces on this scandal and goes to the media with it.
Enter, De Niro. He knows that there is only one way they can hold the President afloat for the next 11 days. Create a story bigger and more interest grabbing than the scandal.
Enter, Hoffman. He plays a super successful film producer who can create a story from "spit and polish", give it life, a body and run it till the world believes it. He has countered so many problems with innovative solutions that any problem setting up the counter-plot is treated with a disdainful "This is nothing..." anecdote.
A brilliant slightly over-the-top performance (perfect for a film producer) by Hoffman sees the plot being created. The plot, incidentally, is to create a scenario of a war with Albania because they are harbouring terrorists who plan to smuggle a nuclear device into the US from Canada.
The way they plan the story and execute is spell binding and very very funny. It's also a bit poignant because it is so easily possible that many news stories we believe blindly in could be fixed this way. The movie is a great look at the beginning of viral marketing in the pre-internet era as well.
A great watch with a very O'Henry-ish twist in the tail (tale) kind of ending.
Go watch it.
And have a good week ahead