I’m not, generally speaking, a huge fan of politicians. My encounters with them – real or fictional – always leave me feeling a little bit tainted by all the spin and hypocrisy. State of Play, then, (starring portly Russell Crowe and flobby Ben Affleck) buys neatly into all of my wildly pre-conceived notions of political conspiracy and personal sleaze: hence I loved it.

Based on an old Beeb mini-series, the movie is a taut thriller about a curmudgeonly reporter who tries to protect his college roommate. That roommate now happens to be a congressman who’s heading a committee uncovering massive graft – and who happens also to be screwing his secretary. Twists, turns & thrills aplenty are driven relentlessly forward by a truly stellar cast (Rachel McAdam stands out).

And as the charmin’ly genteel southern home of all that Vice and Corruption, Washington DC is almost a character in itself. Even the Watergate Building plays a part. I found myself wanting to visit – which, given my opening gambit of this post, seems almost perverse.