Imagine that you are Tom Cruise, and that your career and reputation have begun to falter a wee bit, and so you decide to launch a new phase in your career by, say, taking charge of an entire studio. Imagine that the first film released under your leadership—a film that, not incidentally, features you as one of its stars—is about to come out. Now imagine that the only publicity you intend to do for this movie is a single, private, hour-long, one-on-one interview with a reporter who works for a TV network but brings no recording devices whatsoever with her, let alone anything resembling a camera crew. No photos, no televised interviews, no beaming face on television screens everywhere; instead, nothing but your words, as scribbled down in shorthand by a reporter who, incidentally, doesn't like your movies very much.
Does that sound implausible? Of course it does. And it is just as implausible as one of the main narrative threads of Lions for Lambs, the first film Cruise has starred in since he was unceremoniously booted from the Paramount lot and struck a deal to take the reins at United Artists. Cruise plays Senator Jasper Irving, a hotshot politician with a background in military intelligence who invites a journalist, Janine Roth (Meryl Streep), to his office for an exclusive interview, where he reveals that he is one of the masterminds behind a brand new military strategy that is unfolding in Afghanistan as they speak. Jasper tells Janine he is giving her a big scoop, and he clearly thinks the new strategy and his involvement with it will boost his own political ambitions—but he isn't exactly maximizing his exposure, or the strategy's.
Why is a mere senator and not, say, the Defense Secretary discussing ...1
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Lions for Lambs
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