Monday, May 8, 2023


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Supporting Actor” (Peter Sarsgaard) at the Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards. He lost to Tim Robbins in Mystic River.

• Best Scene/Moment: This is tough because it’s one good scene after another. I think I’ll pick the ending where the movie crosscuts between Hayden Christensen’s character and Peter Sarsgaard’s character each receiving rounds of applause from separate audiences with very different implications. It’s really powerful.

• Best Song: “New Sensation” by INXS.
• Best Merch: A “Shattered Glass Promo Paper Pad” for $9.99. This was a promotional item given out at the premiere. I love that (at least) one of the pages has the phrase “Are you mad at me?” written on the bottom. Was that there originally? Is it something the seller added? Either way, it’s really funny but also annoying that someone took one line away from you on a small pad. “The sour and the sweet” as it were.
• Director Check: Shattered Glass was written and directed by Billy Ray. Ray began his career as a screenwriter for many films (including Color of Night, Volcano and Hart’s War) before making his directorial debut with Shattered Glass in 2003. The film was well-received critically but didn’t do much at the box office and has become an overlooked gem of the 2000s. His directing follow-up was 2007’s Breach, starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe, which is also excellent. After Breach, Ray wrote several screenplays for high-profile projects like Captain Phillips and the original The Hunger Games. His most recent feature directorial effort was the Chiwetel Ejiofor-Nicole Kidman-Julia Roberts thriller Secret in Their Eyes, which quietly came and went during its release in 2015. Since then, Ray has written screenplays for Overlord, Gemini Man, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Richard Jewell. He doesn’t appear to have any feature directorial efforts coming up (he did write and direct The Comey Rule miniseries in 2020 for Showtime) but his IMDb says he’s currently working on writing and/or directing several TV projects.

• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Owning Mahowny

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before It: Confidence, Monster, Thirteen
Draft Day or Shattered Glass? Shattered Glass

• Mall Movie? I would say no because it’s an independent film about journalism and ethics despite being a movie that’s accessible to a mall crowd if they choose to seek it out.

• Only in 2003: Hayden Christensen giving an incredible performance. I’ve liked him in other movies but he’s on an entirely different level in Shattered Glass. It was the role he was born to play in 2003.

• Scene Stealer (tie): Hank Azaria and Steve Zahn.

• I Miss (tie): People being mad at liars and indies with casually amazing casts.

• I Don’t Miss: After hours work calls. I get this is probably par for the course in journalism but the work-life balance proponent in me twitched a few times.
• 2003 Crush: Chloe Sevigny.

• 2023 Crush: Melanie Lynskey.

• What I Thought in 2003: I was fortunate enough to see Shattered Glass in theaters and thought it was awesome. I’m pretty sure Hayden Christensen got me and my girlfriend at the time in the theater (she was a big Star Wars fan) and we were both impressed by his performance. It shortly thereafter became a movie I championed and recommended to anyone who would listen if they asked me if I had seen anything lately I would recommend. The good thing about Shattered Glass is it’s the type of movie you can recommend to anyone and they’d probably like it. Good story, well-told. What more can you ask for?

• What I Think in 2023: I might like Shattered Glass even more now than I did in 2003. It’s so well-written and directed by Billy Ray and the performances are uniformly excellent. I love what it says about honesty and integrity and how it makes Stephen Glass squirm as he’s exposed for his pathological dishonesty. It’s even more timely now than it was in 2003 with the thesis of how sick it is we (as a society) let deception continue because it’s entertaining/amusing and how it’s so much easier to take the path of least resistance and let it slide. Shattered Glass is a great movie and an important one.


  1. I remember absolutely loving this movie when it came out, and I didn't realize the same person wrote Breach but that totally makes sense--another really good underrated movie from the 2000s.

    I wonder if Star Wars was the worst thing to happen to Hayden Christensen. If he'd been able to organically grow into a really solid dramatic actor, maybe he would have sustained a longer and more critically acclaimed career trajectory. It kind of sucks that his most famous role ended up being viewed so negatively. Then again, money is nice and helpful so... perhaps it was worth it.

    1. I feel like Star Wars should've been like Robert Pattinson's Twilight. Something big to make money and put his name out there, then go on to do more interesting, risky stuff.

      I don't know why it didn't work for Christensen, but i'm sure it's because of Star Wars.

  2. Draft Day or Shattered Glass? Shattered Glass.

    Ok, by Fthismovie law I think that means I need to seek this out.