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An upstart television producer accepts the challenge of reviving a struggling morning show program with warring co-hosts.
For more about Morning Glory and the Morning Glory Blu-ray release, see Morning Glory Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 26, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Noah Bean, Jack Davidson, Diane Keaton, Vanessa Aspillaga
Director: Roger Michell
» See full cast & crew
Morning Glory Blu-ray Review
No, not that kind of "Morning Glory." For shame!
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 26, 2011
You've got this repellant moxie.
Morning Glory is a spunky little crowd pleaser, a fluffy (sorry, Mike!) little slice of easygoing Comedy that's both well-written and energetically acted. There's not much to the movie, really; it's predictable but not to a fault, the film's pleasure coming from its character interactions and dynamics rather than any sense of mystery or even realism. There's something to be said about lighthearted, innocent fair; Morning Glory capitalizes on being a movie only with good intentions and the energy to match, not at all concerned that there's absolutely nothing of substance in any frame. Director Roger Michell (Changing Lanes) keeps his film focused like a laser on building its characters; sure they're stereotypes -- the peppy young new hire, her mysterious good-looking boyfriend, the safe-and-secure "just go with it" anchor, and the grizzled no-fun old codger who rejects change outright and who probably hasn't cracked a smile since the Eisenhower administration -- but still the movie works, demonstrates a firm command of its material, and has a lot of fun doing its thing. It's not all that special and not too terribly original, but darn it all if Morning Glory isn't like that catchy little song that gets stuck in the head, even if there's really no artistic value behind that toe-tapping beat.
Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams, Red Eye) is a successful producer for Good Morning New Jersey. She has higher aspirations, though, hoping to move up in the ranks and maybe one day, even, land the top producing spot at the Today show. Becky and her co-workers believe she's about to earn a much-deserved promotion within the Good Morning New Jersey hierarchy, but her boss has bad news: corporate is cutting back and laying her off, instead putting a hotshot with an MBA on the fast-track to the top. Becky's avalanche of outgoing mailed resumés finally gets her a call from the fledgeling IBS Network, a perpetual loser that's been in fourth place behind ABC, NBC, and CBS for ages. Becky is hired by head honcho Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldblum, Independence Day) who hopes that, finally, the network's premiere morning show, Daybreak, can rise in the ratings. Becky makes a big splash when she fires the show's self-centered longtime co-anchor, but she's left with a gaping hole to fill, the on-air chair situated next to veteran host Colleen Peck's (Diane Keaton, Reds) left side. She finagles longtime newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) into the position; Pomeroy feels overqualified for the job and is underwhelmed with the frivolous guests and trivial stories that replace hard news with far too much frequency. Pomeroy refuses to do more than read the news; as ratings flatline and on- and off-air bickering threatens the show and the fortunes of all involved, Becky takes it upon herself to breathe new life into Daybreak, save the show, and maybe even find herself along the way.
Morning Glory is a character-driven film through and through; its very nature demands pitch-perfect acting to sell the film's bread-and-butter as both tasty and wholesome, and Director Roger Michell's cast is up to the challenge. Though the film revolves around Rachel McAdams's spark plug character -- the actress turns in a delightful little effort that's the perfect embodiment of a career-oriented girl who can't slow herself down long enough to seize what she wants in life outside of work -- it's Harrison Ford's faultless performance that elevates Morning Glory from a midlevel production to a catchy and fun little flick. Ford's been floundering a bit of late, trying to find himself in his advanced age, but he's back and better than ever in Morning Glory, playing "the third worst person in the world" with all of the anti-social charm he can muster, putting on a particularly dour face and grunting his lines with guttural "leave me alone" and "why me?" sort of vibes that absolutely make the character come alive and work beyond the printed script. Ford manages to energize the movie through what is a deliberately annoyed and distant performance, playing a grumpy and grouchy old codger content to see things out on his own terms, putting on a wonderful show as he duels with his antithesis in every regard -- gender, age spirit, energy -- for supremacy behind the scenes of a fledgeling television network. It's uncanny how Ford can be the film's lifeblood playing a character with only cynicism and a dark heart visible on the surface, but the actor has a few more cards up his sleeve that he plays as the film goes on that really give the movie a boost to get it over the hump and play out as a delightfully likable and even re-watchable little endeavor that offers far more than it promises.
Maybe best of all, though, Morning Glory is in no way pretentious. Affable, inviting, light, built around nothing but good intentions, and made for feel-good audiences who like their movies to be as comforting as their morning cup of coffee and as likable as their favorite early hours TV personalities, the film plays with a happy-go-lucky attitude that sucks audiences in and promises the requisite happily-ever-after ending even through the chaos of the newsroom and the clashing personalities inside of it. It's made to end well, and even the station's rickety doorknobs get fixed by the end. There's no secrets, no core message, no critical or cynical eye pointing towards the inner-workings of broadcast journalism and the fluff pieces of early morning television. It's not a movie made to make its audiences think; not a movie crafted to win awards; and certainly not a movie meant to take the place of other, thematically superior pictures of the same ilk. No, Morning Glory thrives in its comfort zone, letting things play out as they should and generating only goodwill from its actors that trickles on down all the way to audience level. It's a crowd-pleaser in the truest sense of the term, a picture with good qualities that's more than happy to make its audience smile. One can't ask for much more than that.
Morning Glory Blu-ray, Video Quality
Paramount's Blu-ray release of Morning Glory features a reference-quality 1080p transfer. This is a handsome film-like image that retains a subtle but critical grain field, lending to the transfer a fine cinematic texture. Details are strong; everything from the texture of a denim jacket to various greenery in an outdoor sequence in chapter six appears intricately rendered. The image is also sharp and crisp; a few softer-looking shots appear to be inherent to the source and not a fault of the Blu-ray transfer. Colors are vibrant but steady and certainly not overcooked; general shades are handsome, and the big splash of yellow that's situated behind the Daybreak anchor desk is marvelously reproduced in every shot in which it appears. Blacks are inky and accurate while flesh tones hold natural colors throughout. The image is positively free of banding, blocky backgrounds, destructive noise reduction, edge halos, or other visual nasties. This is a pristine image from the top down, as good as any film-sourced transfer on the Blu-ray market.
Morning Glory Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Morning Glory's DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack is spunkier than the material might suggest. Music plays with incredible clarity and space across the front; the low end enjoys a fair bit of heft, and things get downright heavy when a famous rapper makes a cameo appearance late in the film. The more airy Daybreak theme music, too, plays with remarkable crispness and energy. The track doesn't offer much in the way of a pronounced rear-channel presence, but both city and country atmospherics are handled with realistic efficiency. A pair of shotgun blasts ring out with superb energy and a lasting echoing effect that spreads out across the entire soundstage. Of course, this is primarily a dialogue-driven film, and Paramount's lossless track handles the spoken word with unmatched effortlessness. This track is certainly not as loud or as packed with sonic goodness as the typical Action film, but it's wonderfully accurate and satisfying for what it is.
Morning Glory Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Morning Glory overslept and crankily offers only two extras, a deleted scene (Shampoo Bottles: 1080p, 0:46) and an audio commentary track with Director Roger Michell and Writer Aline Brosh McKenna .
Morning Glory Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Morning Glory may very well be the epitome of the modern happy-go-lucky Comedy. No raunchy sex, no R-rated jokes, nothing at all in bad taste; it's a rare sort of movie these days, one where characters -- flawed in some way but nevertheless likable -- make the movie, where they're painted as extremes but nevertheless find their way into audiences's hearts. There's no mystery, no wondering if everything will turn out alright in the end. Morning Glory is a true crowd pleaser, a movie that's comfortable in its own skin and that never gives in to plot devices that don't fit its quaint little structure. Morning Glory is one of the pleasant surprises of 2010, a movie that didn't break the bank at the box office but that will hopefully find some legs on home video. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Morning Glory delivers a perfect 1080p transfer and a surprisingly peppy lossless soundtrack, but the disc stumbles a bit with the inclusion of a mere two extras. Still, the movie and this disc come happily recommended.
Morning Glory: Other Editions
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Morning Glory Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Morning Glory Blu-ray Announced - January 12, 2011
Paramount Home Entertainment has announced Morning Glory for Blu-ray release on March 8. This comedy, set in the world of television production, stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. It opened in theaters in November 2010 and earned $30 million ...
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