Cold Copy

Cold Copy
Cold Copy
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A troubled teenager is manipulated by a ruthless journalism student in order to get an exposé for her domineering professor who is the host of an investigative news program. But “Cold Copy” only dulls media tactics, unscrupulous reporters and their cutthroat methods with a sledgehammer message: those who’ll do anything for a story are void of integrity and soiling a sacred public duty. The truth cannot be tainted with lies, which is painfully obvious in this film that lacks any subtlety or realistic character dynamics.

As she waits nervously for her interview with famed journalist Diane Heger (Tracee Ellis Ross), Mia Scott (Bel Powley) watches as throngs of post-grads jockey for position in line outside Diane’s class – the most coveted spot in the school of journalism. When a sick colleague hands her his portfolio on accident, she takes it without a care in the world about his troubles — impressing Diane could land her a job on the show and send her career skyrocketing.

But when Mia fails to answer even basic introductory questions, Diane viciously eviscerates her. “You’re wasting my time,” Diane sneers, “and you obviously don’t belong here.” Furious at being dismissed, Mia curses Diane for not recognizing her talent; she’ll make sure everyone knows who she is soon enough. A smirk breaks through Diane’s icy veneer once she gets what she wanted.

Yet Mia’s excitement about getting into the class quickly turns to dread as every single one of her ideas for projects are shot down by the cruel teacher. She can’t fail at being incisive again — but fate intervenes when 16-year-old Igor Nowak (Jacob Tremblay) stops a date from sexually harassing Mia late one night. She goes home with him to his large mansion; why is this kid here all alone? It becomes clear to Mia that he’s the son of a famous children’s book author (Helena Marie), who died under mysterious circumstances several months ago.

In her feature debut, writer-director Roxine Helberg wastes no time with exposition. Within minutes of the open, we understand that Mia is selfish and calculating — she won’t let anyone get ahead. If it serves a purpose, she’ll sabotage supposed friends without batting an eye. She’s a shark in the water for blood; Diane is the apex predator Mia desperately wants to be. She loves making people squirm in discomfort: Diane’s brutal takedowns only reinforce her position of authority over browbeaten underlings at school and work who are desperate to please her because they know they’re not good enough.

But Igor has an innocent schoolboy crush that Mia thankfully never entertains; she only pretends to be his friend for the sake of her story. And while Helberg’s script has him roaming around like a waif left to his own devices — his dad (James Tupper) is too distraught about losing mom to acknowledge Igor’s existence except when absolutely necessary, which might be plausible on some level — it doesn’t explain how he’s unsupervised all day every day or why he doesn’t go to school. They check up on children who are chronically absent from class, and he wouldn’t be able to hide the abuse he suffers at the hands of bullies either. In real life, there would be no way someone would let this relationship develop between a woman and an underage child she spends this much time with; it simply wouldn’t go unnoticed.

Four settings dominate much of the action: Mia’s school, her apartment, Igor’s house, and Diane’s TV studio. In almost every interaction, the characters look bizarrely identical. As the film goes on their wardrobe shows few changes in choices. Blue is all mia wears, red coats belong to diane, and i always see igor with that same sweatshirt. Movies are often made in the same place for budget & scheduling reasons, but there’s usually a costume change to indicate a clock tick. This doesn’t happen & it feels like poor directing.

Mia’s thirst for greatness is unrelenting in an overbearing way. She does things nobody with common sense or fear of consequences would do. Diane is laughable because of how severely tyrannical and condescending she is. No teacher can speak to students like that without being reprimanded; The fact that she gets away with it means shes too famous to be allowed anywhere near children let alone abusive towards them! Igor comes off as more hurt than stupid/naive which makes him easier to believe; He literally says out loud what mia wants from people so his guard should’ve been up already… Jacob Tremblay does good work here playing against type but helberg has him so busy being dazzled by her fawning attention he doesn’t even notice her breath smells like a wolf’s Powley,Ross,and Tremblay are fantastic actors who’ve all given better performances elsewhere- these characters are flatly written stereotypes

Cold Copy stumbles at climax weak point; There isn’t a chance in hell either diane or mia would ever allow themselves to be deceived by each other for anyone elses gain & besides smart schemers don’t fall victim but rather create chaos as sociopaths Helberg’s got valid points about media-state awfulness/ubiquitousness muck-rakers etc.. if only she could have found more effective way to drive that message home.

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