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Broadcast News

Writer-director James L. Brooks' take on love amidst television news is one of the finest, funniest, most heartfelt character studies around. Holly Hunter stars as Jane, a combustible speedball of emotion and intellect who excels at producing nightly newscasts while her social life lay in ruins. Ignoring the affectionate dotage of neurotic confidante Aaron (Albert Brooks), Jane instead falls in lust with the network's new anchor Tom (William Hurt), even though he — knowingly — represents the trend towards style-over-substance that Jane sees rotting her profession. Brooks uses the flashy network milieu to make pointed, spot-on jabs at slipping journalistic ethics and the pomp of newscaster celebrity, but the love triangle at the story's core is brilliantly crafted, a heartbreaking comedy of both heart and head. Jane feels herself drawn to Tom's good looks while she despises his self-aware intellectual inadequacy, while Tom, on the other hand, in a wonderful piece of screenwriting, is attracted to Jane for her smarts — and because of that is uneasy with her shallow reciprocal interest. The terrific coda is a poignant reminder that personal crises, like top stories, are eventually just yesterday's news. A pure gem. With cameos by Jack Nicholson and John Cusack. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Trailer, keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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