Nothing but the Truthis a 2008 American drama film written and directed by Rod Lurie . According to comments made by Lurie inThe Truth Hurts, a bonus feature on the DVD release, his inspiration for the screenplay was the case of journalist Judith Miller , who in July 2005 was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a leak naming Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative, but this was merely a starting point for what is primarily a fictional story. In an April 2009 interview, Lurie stressed, "I should say that the film is about neither of these women although certainly their stories as reported in the press went into the creation of their characters and the situation they find themselves in."
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2008. It was scheduled to open in New York City and Los Angeles on December 19, but because distributor Yari Film Group Releasing filed for Chapter 11 protection, it never was given a theatrical release.
Rachel Armstrong ( Kate Beckinsale ) is an ambitious reporter for theCapital Sun-Times. When she discovers fellow soccer mom Erica Van Doren ( Vera Farmiga ) is working as a covert operative for the CIA and recently returned from Venezuela , where she was investigating an assassination attempt on the President of the United States , she confronts her and requests confirmation. Erica refuses to cooperate, but Rachel has no doubts about the veracity of the report, and her story becomes front-page news with the support of editor Bonnie Benjamin ( Angela Bassett ) and Avril Aaronson ( Noah Wyle ), who serves as the newspaper's legal counselor.
Because revealing a covert operative's identity is a treasonous offence and because the individual who leaked the information to Rachel is a potential threat to national security, special Federal prosecutor Patton Dubois ( Matt Dillon ) convenes a grand jury and demands to know who her source is, information she refuses to divulge. High profile attorney Albert Burnside ( Alan Alda ), hired by the newspaper to defend Rachel, is certain his personal friendship with Judge Hall will facilitate matters and is shocked when his client is jailed for contempt of court.
Days become weeks, and then months, but Rachel steadfastly defends the principle of confidentiality, a position that eventually estranges her husband Ray ( David Schwimmer ), alienates her young son Timmy ( Preston Bailey ), and costs her embattled newspaper hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees. She is stricken when a member of an extremist right-wing group assassinates Van Doren in her own driveway, as he perceives Van Doren's report on Venezuela's innocence to be unpatriotic, but she remains silent. Eventually, the President's Chief of Staff comes forward and admits that he corroborated Armstrong's investigation into Van Doren's identity. However, Dubois is only interested in Armstrong's original source. Armstrong pleas to Dubois that she could never give up her source as they would have to deal with the consequential ramifications of the death of Van Doren. Burnside even argues her case before the Supreme Court, but they decide against him 5-4, citing the overriding concern of national security.
Eventually, Judge Hall decides to release Armstrong from jail, as he is convinced she will never divulge her source and, therefore, cannot be pressured through continued incarceration. On the day she is released, Dubois has the U.S. Marshals arrest her for obstruction of justice and convinces her to take a deal for a shortened sentence rather than go to trial. She agrees to two years in prison, with the possibility of early parole for good behavior. As Armstrong is taken to the facility, she reminisces about her time as a volunteer at Timmy's school, and when she spoke to Van Doren's daughter, Alison, who revealed to her on a school field trip that her mother worked for the government and recently went to Venezuela on "business" thus revealing Alison as the original source.