Fave 5: Media in the movies

Movies offer a great escape from the every day and we love how they allow us to peek into other people’s lives – or at least their lives as envisioned by Hollywood. Our Media, Darling series gives us an idea of what goes on at a media outlet, but we’d like to imagine that these movies complete the rest of the puzzle.


This film by Sidney Lumet is a satirical look at a fictional television network and won four Academy Awards. Network follows Howard Beale (Peter Finch), a longtime evening news anchor as his show struggles with declining ratings. Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Robert Duvall also star. This classic film was included among AFI’s “100 Greatest American Films” list, and we can’t think of a higher recommendation than that.

The Devil Wears Prada

“A million girls would kill for this job.” Well, we don’t know about that but we’d certainly commit some petty crimes to get our hands on Anne Hathaway’s wardrobe in this fashion flick. Hathaway’s Andrea Sachs lands a highly-coveted gig as the personal assistant to Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep), the editor-in-chief of Runway. Legend has it that Priestley was not-so-subtly based on Anna Wintour, so consider this a behind-the-scenes look at life at Vogue.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

This hilarious film is about a top San Diego newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) coping with the arrival of a new, female co-host (Christina Applegate). We crack up every time we watch this film (which trust us, is often). Ferrell and Applegate are supported by an all-star comedy cast, including Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Fred Armisen and Seth Rogen. The street brawl scene against a rival news station is one of many highlights.

Wag the Dog

Politicians and spin doctors go hand-in-hand, but this 1997 movie takes it to the next level. When a scandal emerges days before re-election, the American President’s advisor (Robert DeNiro) partners with a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to manufacture a war in Albania through mass media. Both amusing and provocative, Wag the Dog forces you to take a second and think about what is presented as “fact” in the media.

The Bang Bang Club

A sobering look at war correspondents, The Bang Bang Club is the true story about four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa. The friends and colleagues put themselves directly into the line of fire in order to get “the shot”. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Canadian heartthrob Taylor Kitsch (a.k.a. Tim Riggins forever!) stars as one of the more troubled photographers, which in that group is certainly saying something.