Cold Copy

Cold Copy
Original title:Cold Copy
Director:Roxine Helberg
Running time:91 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
An ambitious journalism student falls under the yoke of a renowned but ruthless journalist whom she strives to impress, even if it means manipulating her latest article - and the very idea of truth.

Mulder's Review

Cold Copy, discovered at the Deauville American Film Festival, takes audiences on a thrilling journey into the cutthroat world of journalism, where ambition and competition run high. Roxine Helberg's directorial debut follows the intense rivalry between a determined journalism student, Mia Scott (Bel Powley), and a seasoned journalist, Diane Heger (Tracee Ellis Ross). Set against the backdrop of a high-stakes journalism course, the story explores the moral complexities of pursuing success at all costs.

The film opens with Mia's passionate desire to bring truth and power to her work as a journalist, setting the stage for her journey into the cutthroat world of journalism. Mia's determination to enter the class of Diane Heger, known for her competitiveness and demanding teacher, is palpable. Bel Powley plays Mia brilliantly, demonstrating a relentless drive and willingness to go beyond ethical boundaries in pursuit of her goals.

Tracee Ellis Ross shines as the formidable Diane Heger, a presenter with a reputation for digging deep and getting at the truth of public figures. Her character embodies the essence of a tough, experienced journalist who understands the sacrifices necessary to succeed in the industry. Ross's performance adds depth to Diane, revealing both her hardened exterior and her moments of vulnerability.

The film explores the mentor-mentee relationship between Mia and Diane, a dynamic that is usually portrayed through a male lens. Here, the film subverts expectations by presenting it from a woman's point of view, underscoring the ego and ambition that are universal, regardless of gender.

Jacob Tremblay delivers a mature, enigmatic performance as Igor, a teenager whose life is thrust into the spotlight following a tragic event. As Mia delves deeper into Igor's story, the film tackles themes of exploitation, ethics and the blurred line between reporting and invasion of privacy. However, the film occasionally stumbles when it attempts to present a nuanced critique of modern journalism and ethics.

Although the film offers entertainment and tension thanks to the cat-and-mouse game between Mia and Diane, its message about the ethical dilemmas of the media remains somewhat muddled. The script often oversimplifies the journalistic profession, labeling honest, ethically-researched work as true journalism and sensational content as false. This binary approach lacks the nuance necessary to truly engage with the complex issues surrounding journalism today.

Despite its occasional errors, Cold Copy excels in showcasing the power of its lead actors. Powley's interpretation of Mia's transformation from naive student to ambitious, ruthless force is captivating to watch. Diane Ross embodies the unapologetic attitude of a woman who has navigated a male-dominated field, giving her character an edge that is both frightening and charismatic.

The film's visual elements, notably Matteo Cocco's cinematography and Arndt-Wulf Peemöller's editing, contribute to its tone and atmosphere. The tense interactions between the characters are accentuated by rapid cuts and striking shots that capture the anxious energy of investigative journalism.

Cold Copy offers a suspenseful exploration of the ambition, competition and ethical dilemmas inherent in the world of journalism. Although the film's script sometimes lacks the depth needed to fully dissect its themes, strong performances from Bel Powley, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jacob Tremblay elevate the material and create a captivating visual experience. Roxine Helberg's directorial debut offers moments of excitement and introspection, even if it sometimes struggles to find the perfect balance in its narrative.

Cold copy
Written and Directed by Roxine Helberg
Produced by Justin Lothrop, Brent Stiefel, Dan Bekerman, Roxine Helberg
Starring Bel Powley, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jacob Tremblay
Music by Þórarinn Guðnason      
Cinematography : Matteo Cocco
Edited by Arndt-Wulf Peemöller 
Release date : June 2023 (Tribeca)
Running time : 91 minutes

Seen September 5 2023 at Deauville international center

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