Surrounded by men who had been in the news industry for years Jessica Savitch (Sela Ward) is a force of nature as she is determined to succeed and has the endless energy to do so. From making sure she gets the scoop to analysing how she looks while reporting the news not a detail is over looked. Of course this makes her demanding and hard to work with as well as live with when it comes to her turbulent relationship with Ron Kershaw (Ron Silver). When a melt down in a news break ends up doing the rounds it causes Jessica to become both more determined but demanding in trying to reach the top.
I will be the first to admit that often I have never heard of the person who is the focus of one of these true story movies but that doesn't put me off because usually they have an interesting story to tell which works for a mass audience. This is often because the person the movie is focused upon is either a criminal or victim and so their story has a universal appeal. That is what "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story" lacks because instead of being a story about a crime or a victim it is a story about a celebrity. Yes it means it is a biopic but unless you were a fan of Jessica Savitch you find yourself wondering why her story is worth telling.
Having watched "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story" I find myself still at a loss as to why her story was so worthy of being adapted in to a TV Movie. Let me put that in to context as we have a woman determined to succeed, her determination at times leads to huge outbursts, one of which was captured on film, her driven/ aggressive side causes relationship issues as her boyfriend Ron is too similar to her and.... well many will know what happens but there will be many like me who having never come across Jessica Savitch will not.
Despite the curiosity as to why this movie needed to be made the performances are certainly what keeps you involved with Sela Ward bringing to life the character of Jessica as a real force of nature. Whilst the writing doesn't do enough to explain why Jessica is so determined Ward certainly brings that aspect to the fore as well as the knock on effect of this the angry, obsessive side. At the same time Ron Silver delivers another one of those performances which he did so naturally, the laid back nice guy but then he also brings out the almost devil inside his character with the perfect amount of force that the sudden outbursts feel real.
What this all boils down to is that I would expect "Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story" will entertain those who use to watch Jessica Savitch but ends up entertainingly curious for those who are unaware of Savitch and her significance as a reporter.