Right from its opening frames, the 2003 BBC mini-series State of Play (available on DVD 2/25) hits the ground running — quite literally, with a frenetic foot chase over cobblestone streets that ends in a shocking act of violence. And like a proverbial pebble dropped in the Thames, this seemingly random street crime sends ripples throughout Parliament, Fleet Street, and (wait for it) the big, bad U.S. oil industry.
Directed by David Yates, who also directed the most recent Harry Potter film, State of Play mixes politics, sex, and murder in a manic, All the President’s Men–infused race by a team of rather ethically challenged journalists to unravel the truth. The cast is chock-a-block with refreshingly average British mugs, including a pre-Atonement James McAvoy and the mesmerizingly middle-aged (yes!) Bill Nighy.
See State of Play now, before these brilliant and bustling six hours of television are pruned down to the inevitable movie starring Ben Affleck.
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