November 12, 2010
Review - " Morning Glory " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Director: Roger Michell
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson,
Most anyone who routinely watches morning news shows knows
almost exactly what to expect, day after day. A formulaic series of
celebrity interviews and gossip, mind-numbing banter, possibly a
cooking segment here or there, and maybe even some actual news -
on occasion, a RARE occassion.
All sweetness, with barely any substance. This is the idea that Roger
Michell's new film “Morning Glory” tries to encapsulate.
Most reviewers spent half their time talking about Broadcast News and
how the new similarly-themed film did not measure up. But Morning
Glory is a delightful movie with some wonderful performances, and it is
worth seeing for three reasons: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford
opposite Diane Keaton, and Patrick Wilson.
The film stars Rachel McAdams as an impossibly awkward 20-
something television producer given the opportunity to take over a
failing network morning show. She attempts to revitalize it by hiring on
a Peabody Award-winning veteran newscaster, played by Harrison
Ford. Becky Fuller (McAdams) is an aspiring TV producer who loses
her job at a New Jersey station and then, through a blend of
desperation and overactive charm, talks her way into a position as
executive producer of Daybreak, a notoriously bad fourth-ranked
morning show on which the co-anchors have been grinning at each
other for so long that their teeth look ready to fall out. McAdams, all
googly doe eyes and nervous dimpled grins, infuses this go-getter with enough schoolgirl vivacity, enough spunk, perky,
eager-to-please caffeinated energy.
This beautiful young actress has been on the cusp of stardom for the last few years. She was lovely in The Notebook, fun in
Red Eye and mostly wasted in Sherlock Holmes. Her performance in Morning Glory as the gung-ho young producer trying to
turn a morning news show around, gives McAdams her best part to date and it is ample proof that she has the looks and
talent to be a top leading lady. Like Anne Hathaway who had to graduate from her teen films, McAdams has innate loveliness
and charm that will hopefully be recognized with great leading roles. The fact that Morning Glory did poorly at the box office
may work against her — she was top-billed and the blame for the film's financial failure may fall her way.
Diane Keaton has been a star and a major force in American films for over thirty years. Her charm and range has carried her
from her Oscar win (Woody Allen's Annie Hall), through all three Godfathers and numerous mature starring roles. Keaton
and Meryl Streep are practically the only actresses in their age group who can still command top scripts and starring roles.
Keaton has a great supporting role in Morning Glory as the feisty anchor who has to put up with lousy ratings, humiliating on-
air requests, and having to deal with ego-ridden male co-anchors. It is a testament to Keaton's skill and charm that you want
more of her in this movie.
Harrison Ford was the action star of all those great George Lucas/Steven Spielberg epics, and those Star Wars and Indiana
Jones franchises pretty much insured that he would remain a top star for years. But for the most part, no one ever
considered him much of an actor. His occasional forays into dramas (Witness, Mosquito Coast, Regarding Henry) showed
that he could be an actor of depth and range when given the chance. Ford's performance in Morning Glory is truly his best
performance lately. Playing a surly, chauvinistic, and truly unpleasant grand old man of broadcasting who's coerced into
being an anchor, Ford is wonderfully on target and gives a performance that could garner him a Supporting Oscar nod. He is
that good - OK maybe not.
Patrick Wilson plays the love interest in Morning Glory and this sexy actor has the part that Kenneth Turan perfectly summed
up in his Los Angeles Times review: "A hunky news magazine producer, played by Patrick Wilson (formerly of Little Children)
and now doing the best he can in the male version of the girl friend role." Wilson has the looks and talent to be a top star.
Why Hollywood is wasting his considerable abilities in roles like this, or last year's similar role in the Jennifer Aniston film The
Switch, is beyond comprehension. Wilson
not only starred on Broadway in great
musicals like The Full Monty and Oklahoma,
but he was brilliant as the psychologically
tortured "victim" in Hard Candy.
Actor Jeff Goldblum — so good in every part
he has every played — is also amazing in this
great ensemble cast.
Morning Glory is a charming film worth seeing
for all of the above reasons. It is one of the
few movies for adults that doesn't rely on
violence or special effects. Any movie goer
wanting an adult entertaining film should rush
to this one.