All the President's Men

All the President's Men ★★★★★

This is a movie with a big message and far-reaching story but at heart it's about grunt work, the tedium of nailing down countless little details and sweating each and every one of them late through the night, on twenty cups of coffee. Pakula takes great pains to render this beautifully by emphasizing the protagonists' reportorial techniques and the intricate, beautiful din of the newsroom. It's incredibly mesmerizing, very similar to watching master craftspeople at work except here you feel on the edge of your seat as democracy hangs suspended in mid-air. The performances are phenomenal and the subtle distinctions that the script uses to contrast Bernstein's hard-driving approach with Woodward’s fastidious demeanor are just brilliant. One hundred percent electric.

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