CRF Blog

When movies don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story

by Bill Hayes

John Horn for the Los Angeles Times looks at When movies don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

The trickiest territory is where the central facts are disputed. Last year, Sony’s “Zero Dark Thirty” went down in Oscar flames after critics, including U.S. senators, said the film falsely asserted that torture helped locate Osama bin Laden. Sony didn’t respond promptly to the attacks, and “Zero Dark Thirty” was discredited.

In recent weeks, Paul Greengrass has taken the offensive in describing why his “Captain Phillips” is accurate, even if it compresses certain events and alters some details.

“I’m 100% satisfied that the picture we present of these events in the film, including the role [played] by Captain Phillips, is authentic,” the British director said in an online chat that was largely focused on defending the film’s truthfulness.

In talking about “Saving Mr. Banks” with my colleague Rebecca Keegan, Tom Hanks (who plays Disney) said the film’s screenplay, about the creative tussle in making “Mary Poppins,” was never focused on the studio chief’s political views. [more]