“Cold Copy” is an investigative journalism drama about Mia and Diane. Mia is a post-graduate student who admires the journalist Diane. She thinks of her as a role model. Mia wants to take Diane’s class but soon realizes how harsh Diane is. Mia does everything in her power and goes against her ethics to prove and be accepted by Diane. With Diane’s encouragement, she finds a story worthy of TV, but things start to go downhill in that process.

This article contains spoilers.

Cold Copy (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

“Cold Copy” opens with Mia, an aspiring investigative journalist, preparing for an interview to attend Diane Heger’s class. She inspires her and listens to all the news reports and interviews. Mia is nervous as she practices what she wants to say to impress Diane. The class has limited seats but many applicants. She enters the campus washroom and finds her friend Alex there. Alex is a wreck as she had gone drinking the previous night. She gives her portfolio to Mia and asks her to give it to Diane.

Mia sees the number of students waiting to get interviewed and is overwhelmed. Mia attends the interview but only focuses on impressing Diane rather than showing Diane who she is. Diane asks her what kind of stories Mia wants to tell, and she says she wants to tell the world about truth. She knew this was what Diane believed in, but Diane picks up on that and is not impressed with her. Mia is annoyed with Diane and lashes out at her. Diane asks her to visit a sauna as it will help her with a stressful day.

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On her way out, she gets a message from Alex asking her not to forget to submit her portfolio. Mia knows she didn’t do well and decides to sabotage Alex’s choice and dump Alex’s portfolio. At home, she expresses her concerns to her roommate and friend, Kim. To cheer her up, she sets Mia on a date. Mia’s date is a desperate man and is forcing Mia to get home with him. He gets aggressive, and a teenage boy stops him. Mia’s date pushes the boy, and Mia helps him up.

He asks her if she wants to come home for a bit. At first, she hesitates, but later, she joins the boy. His house is vast and she is surprised he lives in that house. He introduces himself as Igor Nowak. She sees that he is an artist and asks him about his family. She also asks about his bruises, but he doesn’t say much. Mia goes to campus the next day to see if she is selected to take Diane’s class.

Diane tells them that a major part of their class will be to show her what compelling stories they can get. The top compelling story will be aired on her show on TNR. Mia gets to work and tries to find interesting stories but meets a dead end. She is trying to pursue a story from the senator’s office, but she gets a voicemail saying they cannot go ahead with it. Mia is waiting for the next class to begin, and Diane taunts her by saying there is no shame in dropping out of her class. But Mia desperately insists this field of work is for her and that she isn’t going to drop out.

Mia tries to impress Diane in class, but her friend Kim does a better job, and Mia is unable to hide her jealousy. She loses her mind when Kim says her story from the senator’s office came through. Kim also says she got lucky since she knew someone on the inside, a receptionist, because of which she could get the story. At home, Mia realizes Igor’s mother is a famous children’s author, Charlotte Nowak.

Mia talks to Igor and requests to be his shadow for her story. He is annoyed as everyone always wants to talk about his mother, but Mia assures him that she will only be covering his story. She wants to portray him as an artist and show his gentle character despite having lost his mother at a young age. Mia follows Diane the next day after class and tells her about her story idea, not caring if she is in the middle of a meeting. Diane tells her to share her idea in front of the other lady as she is a journalist as well.

Mia does as she is asked, and the journalist thinks there is potential to the story, but Diane disagrees. Mia starts shooting the video and follows Igor to a sugar factory where he spends his time when he wants to be alone and aloof. The next day, Mia asks Diane if she has seen the footage she has sent, and Diane compliments the footage but still thinks it lacks any strong story. Mia notices Diane analyzing some papers and asks what it is. She says they are applications for an entry-level position at TNR. Mia wants to apply, but Diane dismisses her.

Later, Mia is waiting for Igor near his school when she sees two bullies beating him up. She starts recording the scene but, after a minute, decides to go help him out. He tells her that his father is home and he can’t go home bruised, and Mia offers to take him home and help him out. At home, it is revealed that Mia also lost her mother as a child. Igor, Mia and Kim have a small party. Mia has footage of Igor partying with them as well. Mia sees some of Igor’s sketches as if he had forgotten his bag at her place. Kim thinks her story is real and tells her she does not have a story yet.

Cold Copy (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from “Cold Copy” (2023)

Kim explains that her source, an admin from the senator’s office, saw an email on her supervisor’s computer that the registration reminders for the elections were not sent out deliberately. Mia cheers her up. Diane gives Kim a spot at TNR, and Mia is furious and confronts Diane. Mia loses her cool and goes through Igor’s bag and finds his residence key. She sneaks in and takes footage of all the things she wants for the story without permission. She also finds a suicide letter Charlotte has written for Igor.

At home, she does a voice recording of the same. The next day, Diane is impressed with Mia’s work and takes her for drinks. She pushes Mia to present his story, where Igor comes across as more angry and vindictive, and the reason is his mother’s death. Kim is back home from work and is excited, but she senses Mia is unhappy about her new job and changes the topic. Mia has taken things far because of her envy and sends an email to the senator’s office about the admin leaking information.

Kim gets violent with Mia, but Diane stops them and asks them to take it outside. Diane takes Mia to the TNR studio and tells her she is replacing Kim. Mia is thrilled and continues to shoot videos with Igor. Igor’s father finds her in the house and calls her a vulture and kicks her out of the house. Igor convinces his father, and he gives her a note that can help her. Mia at the studio listens in on the conversation between reporters and the production crew and gets ideas of her own.

Diane gifts Mia a scarf she used at the beginning of her career. Mia starts to record Igor again, but this time, she tells him about how her mother had killed herself, and she was the only one with her when it happened. She also tells him that she understands him and his vulnerabilities. Igor gets angry and starts yelling, saying bad things about his mother, and yells to turn the camera off. He physically pushes it and immediately apologizes to her. Mia does creative editing to make Igor look like a troubled, angry child of a mother who had killed herself.

Mia is overjoyed when Diane says that the spot at TNR is hers and her story is chosen to be aired. She also asks her not to tell anyone else about it. Mia’s envy does not end there as she realizes Kim got a job at a famous magazine. Mia’s news is aired but with Diane’s voiceover. Mia loses her cool and tells Diane that she has no right to steal her story. Diane says she did not steal her story, but rather, without her, there would be no story.

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Alex follows Mia around and finally catches her in the washroom and confronts her. She tells Mia that she knew she hadn’t submitted her portfolio and throws everything from the dustbin on her. Mia waits outside Igor’s house, and when he comes out, they have eye contact, and she can see the disappointment on his face. Mia decides to go to the sauna, and she runs into Diane.

Cold Copy (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Will Mia find her story?

Diane tells Mia about her life story, how she came from nothing, and how she will continue to climb the ladder. She asks Mia to be so powerful and successful that Alex’s and Kim’s of the world will pretend to be her best friend. Diane repeats herself that she was the one to make sure to push him to such an extent that he would react in such a way that it became a story. She asks Mia to come back and work with her so she can climb that ladder.

Mia gets back home and does some creative audio editing as she has been recording the whole conversation with Diane. She made sure Diane was the responsible one for the story and how she also stole the story. She reaches out to Kim to help her out, and the story is aired. Diane has no clue about what is going on as her producer replaces Diane with someone else. She gets out of the building to find reporters asking her if she has stolen more stories. Diane, however, sees Mia and smiles, almost feeling proud despite being in a soup.

In the end, Diane’s expression says a lot as this is the lesson she had been teaching Mia from the beginning, and she had used it against her. The film, however, lacks the thrill and anticipatory element. The narrative from the beginning is handled in a sloppy manner, with Diane hating Mia without a strong motivation or Mia randomly bumping into Igor. It also does not show the field in a positive light and rather makes you believe this is what it takes to survive in such an industry.

Read More: 20 Best Investigative Journalism Movies, Ranked

Trailer:

Cold Copy (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
The Cast of Cold Copy (2023) Movie: Bel Powley, Tracee Ellis Ross, James Tupper, Ekaterina Baker, Nesta Cooper, Jacob Tremblay
Cold Copy (2023) Movie Genre: Mystery & thriller/Drama, Runtime:1h 31m
Where to watch Cold Copy

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