Movie Review: Scoop (Martin, 2024)

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Movie: Scoop
Production Companies: The Lighthouse Film and Television, Voltage TV
Director: Philip Martin
Producers: Radford Neville, Hilary Salmon

Scriptwriters: Peter Moffat, Geoff Bussetill
Main Cast: Gillian Anderson, Billie Piper, Rufus Sewell, Keeley Hawes, Connor Swindells
Release Date: April 5th 2024
Running Time: 103 minutes
Certificate: 15


What a scoop this all was…. The usual terrible pun segue aside, the first of two (!) films about the same bombshell interview with history’s least convincing Prince did a pretty good job at getting over how bone crushingly awkward and difficult to believe some of the Prince’s claims were. However, that naturally takes a back seat to the story of the BBC producer who secured the scoop interview of the century. Whilst it’s nothing spectacular from a film making perspective, a stacked cast does help it to justify its run time even with Amazon reportedly releasing their own film about this event soon. So with that out of the way here is my review of the film.


Scoop is based on the book Scoops by BBC producer Sam McAlister, played by Billie Piper, who secured the now infamous Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew (Sewell) about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. After following up on a photo taken back in 2010, McAlister secures Emily Maitlis (Anderson) a chance to question the Prince about his, at times, seemingly close friendship with Epstein even in light of his horrific crimes. All of this is playing in the background as McAlister starts to feel betrayed and sidelined about her involvement in the scoop as she doesn’t receive nearly as much outward praise as other people who were more visible to the public and BBC.


Billie Piper and Gillian Anderson’s Performances in Scoop

Whilst Scoop isn’t anything remotely innovative, the performances of Billie Piper and Gillian Anderson do help carry it through. A great example of Anderson’s performance is in the brief interview with a Tory MP about Brexit. When I say you could close your eyes and just have the audio and you probably couldn’t tell the difference between Maitlis and Anderson, that’s the highest praise possible. Anderson manages to capture the confrontational and no bulls**t approach which is especially true during the Prince Andrew interview scene as she keeps this energy but also does a good job at seeming bewildered at what is happening before her eyes.

On Billie Piper’s performance, she does a great job at turning audience’s opinions on Sam McAlister as she may seem a bit aloof from her first appearance. However, Piper soon swings the audience as she shows off the clear amount of work McAlister put into securing the interview with Andrew. Also, shout out to Keeley Hawes who also does an admirable job as Amanda Thirsk, Andrew’s secretary.

Aesthetic Choices in Scoop

Whilst the performances of the cast are great, Scoop does also feature some interesting aesthetic choices. One of these is photoshopping a deaged Rufus Sewell into the infamous photo of Prince Andrew. Now I get why they did this considering he’s playing the Prince but given how infamous the photo is seeing it in a brief newspaper shot feels weird. Especially with how much the photoshop job stands out. It just feels weird for some reason…

Although the film’s choice to mimic the shutter on a camera when Jai, the photographer who took the picture of Andrew and Epstein, works really well. This is because it gives off the forbidden and dangerous scenario that he could have found himself in should he have been spotted. Also, here the film does a better job at mimicking real photos which is helped by the camera shutter click and black border around every shot which makes the audience feel like they’re witnessing the photos in real time.


To summarise Scoop, this is an alright retelling of the bombshell interview which had the fallout of two atomic bombs landing on a bonfire. It features great performances from Anderson, Piper as well as Rufus Sewell who looked and walked the part of Prince Andrew. However, it’s nothing revolutionary from a technical perspective and does lack a fair amount of suspense. But it does show any celebrity how not to address a scandal so there’s that. So over to Amazon for A Very Royal Scandal sometime in the next year or so….

Overall Rating: 5/10 – AverageTarget Audience: 15+
Content Warning: Mild Sex and Nudity
Recommendation: No