I am embarrassed to say that I mixed up Broadcast News and Network, but after about fifteen minutes of no Joan Cusack, I realized that this was a completely different movie. And despite the fact that the movie did not have any Joan Cusack (who I think is incredibly undervalued) I still really enjoyed it.
So basically the movie is about a fake network called UPS, and their unsettling determination to get the best ratings possible. Specifically, Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch), an anchor who goes mad after his show is about to be cancelled. A programming executive named Diana (played by Faye Dunaway) takes advantage of the his sudden popularity to create revenue for the network, and the life of Max Schumacher (played by William Holden) begins to unravel.
I thought it was going to be like The Newsroom except with bad hair, and in the beginning I was pretty spot on, but then it became more satirical than Sorkin. Beale believes that he has a spirit speaking through him, and people see him as a prophet, and then it just kind of makes you depressed, which is kind of a bummer when you were expecting a romantic comedy with Joan Cusack.
Do you remember those commercials, when the people would scream “it’s my money and I need it now” out their windows? Well it turns out that they totally took that from Network (I see right through you advertisers). Just look
(the part with the screaming out of the windows is about 3/4 of the way through, but I would highly suggest watching the whole thing)
Oh it was also crazy to see the large woman from Two and a Half Man young, and well less large
Even though I love my movies, my favorite is and always will be television. I absolutely adore it, I actually find it difficult to have a conversation with someone who does not watch television, and I pretty much loathe anyone who says “oh, I don’t really have time to watch television”. I’m sorry but everyone has time to watch television, you just eliminate an hour of sleeping, stop being presumptuous. So obviously I was really upset when they kept bashing my television. Seriously, calm down William Holden, and stop bashing Faye Dunaway who you just called “television incarnate”. I love my television, even if a crazy Peter Finch tells me not to.
So a super fun fact about this movie, the actress who played William Holden’s wife (Beatrice Straight), won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and was only in the film for 5 minutes and 40 seconds (according to Wikipedia), which is the shortest performance to win an Oscar. That is actually insane, in the amount of time it takes me to make a sandwich, she can win an Oscar. I mean obviously she was amazing, as was everyone else in the movie. And despite the fact that they constantly bashed my beloved television and the networks that run it, I couldn’t help but love the movie. It was incredibly well written, and made me think even when I didn’t want to.
Rating: 5 out of 5 minutes it takes Beatrice Straight to win an Academy Awards