‘Cold Copy’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: What Happened To Diane?

The main mantra of journalism is a continuous effort to find the truth, but in reality, perfect journalism, or successful journalism, means being able to edit the truth properly so that it can be compelling and attractive enough to draw people’s attention. Directed by Roxine Helberg, Cold Copy is like a Whiplash for journalism students, who push themselves too hard to reach the epitome of success and become an idealistic journalist whom everyone would look up to. The film revolves around a ruthless post-grad journalism student, Mia Scott, who aspires to become a renowned journalist like Diane Heger, a TV host working for a network called TNR. As Mia struggles to come up with a compelling story that Diane would like, we get to know more about her complicated character. Let’s see how Mia will come up with her investigative article, which will change her life forever.

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Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What Happened In The Film?

Cold Copy opened with Mia Scott, an aspiring journalist, whom we saw getting inspired by Diane Heger’s news reports and wishing she could one day be like her role model. During her postgraduate course, she became desperate to attend Diane’s classes; although lacking confidence, she hesitated a lot during her interview with Diane. In response to Diane’s question, she said that all she wanted to do was find the truth, but Diane was not happy with this basic answer. Mia tried to be defensive about her answer, but Heger didn’t let her talk much. One of Mia’s friends, Alex, who was unable to attend the interview, gave Mia her portfolio, asking her to forward it to Diane, but Mia, who was not sure if she would even be selected to attend Diane’s class, threw her portfolio in the dustbin to secure her own position at any cost.

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Although at the very end of the list, Mia was finally selected, along with her roommate Kim Connolly, who was as aspiring and hardworking as Mia was. But Mia had never seen Connolly as more than a competition. In Diane’s class, the students were assigned to pursue a compelling story that would be well-researched, distinctive, and insightful. The search for the stories began, and Mia initially struggled to come up with a narrative that would be sensational. Several stories and ideas got rejected, while Connolly got her hands on an intriguing story in the senator’s office. Mia began to get envious of Connolly as her roommate slowly began to draw Diane’s attention while she became a subject of humiliation for her role model. 


What Did Mia Do To Conolly? 

Mia tried enough, but she faced rejection everywhere. However, one day, the story itself approached her as if by fate. One night, when Mia went out on a date with a creepy guy, things between them took a dark turn as the guy tried to force Mia to go to his place. Meanwhile, a teen boy came to Mia’s rescue. As a gesture of gratitude, Mia went to the kid’s place and learned his name was Igor Nowak. Igor lived in a huge mansion, with a lot of expensive materials here and there. Back at home, when Mia checked his profile, she found out that Igor was the son of a late renowned children’s author, Charlotte Nowak, who was found dead in her house. After Charlotte’s passing, Igor explored his artistic talent and began to create thought-provoking sketches. Mia had seen some of those sketches in his home as well, which gave her an idea of a story. She decided to cover the story of Igor, trying to portray him as a tortured artist who had turned his darkness into something positive. The next day, she followed Diane Heger to a bar, where she had a meeting with a fellow journalist. Mia greeted her and pitched the idea of her story, which seemed compelling to the other journalist, but Diane was still expecting more from Mia.

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Mia knew that she needed Diane’s guidance in this, so she desperately tried to impress her, but in the meantime, Diane hired Connolly as an intern for TNR, completely overlooking Mia. Mia couldn’t bear the humiliation, so she became selfish and didn’t even hesitate to wreak havoc on Conolly’s pursuit of the senator’s office story. One day, Connolly casually shared some of the details of her story, involving a receptionist from the Senator’s office named Rachel, who confided in her about confidential information regarding a circulating email in their office. Mia found Rachel being unethical, which prompted her to write an anonymous email to the senator’s office, revealing how Rachel had been sharing private correspondence with a journalist. Consequently, Rachel was fired, and as Connolly was the investigative journalist, she had to suffer the consequences as well. Connolly understood it was Mia’s doing because she hadn’t talked about it to anyone but her. It caused a significant rift in Connolly and Mia’s friendship, which became more and more awkward as the two were sharing an apartment without talking to each other. 


Did Mia Finally Get Her Story?

Mia began to push herself to get the best out of the story she had been doing on Igor; therefore, she sneaked inside his room and looked for something useful in his belongings. She finally got a hand on a suicide letter from Charlotte, where she expressed her grief and told her son how proud she was of him. Mia sneakily took a picture of the letter and sent it to Diane, who was quite impressed by Mia’s work. However, Mia was guilty of invading Igor’s privacy, as the two of them shared a similarly painful past. Mia also lost her mom when she was eight years old. Her mother’s suicide became a lingering trauma for Mia even in her adulthood, so she could perfectly relate to what Igor had been going through. She thought of covering the story in a positive way, but it was not what Diane wanted her to do. Diane was quite impressed with how Mia had wronged Connolly only to replace her. She took her out to a bar where she told her student that she wanted her to cover Igor’s dark side, not the positive side he had been showing her. Mia didn’t want to do that, but she felt the compulsion to live up to Diane’s expectations, especially when Diane offered her a job at TNR.

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The job was to serve coffee for Diane and her fellow correspondents, but Mia knew that she could learn many things by being in close proximity to Diane. Her greed to become more than just a journalist and hunger for fame brought a shift in her character, as she changed her mind and pursued the story in the way that Diane wanted. She became a close friend to Igor and shared her own traumas and past stories, but at the end, when the two have a heartfelt conversation on the rooftop of a building, Mia, holding her videocam in her hand, triggered Igor by saying how his friends had bullied him. It not only triggered the boy, but it also brought out the negative instincts that he had always hidden in his heart. A furious Igor stood up and spoke about how he desperately wanted to beat those bullies who always tortured him. Mia recorded everything, even though she didn’t want to. She knew Igor was a nice child who would never choose a dark path, but she needed to poke at his wounds just to perfect her story. Back at home, she properly edited the videos, making Igor look like a troubled child, which was not even his reality. Mia finally sent the whole project to Diane, who was more than impressed by her work.


Did Diane Really Steal Mia’s Story?

However, this was not the end, as when the story finally aired on TNR, it shocked Mia as she found that Diane had completely stolen her story and even replaced her voiceover with her own. There was no mention of Mia Scott, whose brainchild was this story. Furious, Mia couldn’t take it anymore and directly confronted Diane in her dressing room. Diane tried to convince her, saying that it wasn’t a case of stealing, as this was an important piece that needed an established voice like Diane Heger. Mia was not ready to listen, so in an impulsive act, she began to throw things and left the room. The amount of respect she had for Diane instantly turned into resentment and hatred. Mia dropped out of the university and was depressed and fatigued. She low-key decided to take her revenge on the celebrated TV host Diane Heger by tarnishing her reputation once and for all. 

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What Happened To Diane?

After dropping out, Mia was on her vengeful journey, so she went to a sauna, which Diane had once recommended to her. Mia had gone there to meet Diane, and after a hot bath, she sat close to Diane, demanding to get some answers from her. Diane might have guessed that one day Mia would regret her choices and plead with her to get her job back, so she proudly continued speaking about her own struggles, telling how she was nothing but an underprivileged black girl who rose to power and fame with the help of her talent. And now that she had become the “Iron Hammer” of the journalists, she didn’t care about the phase she had been through because no one cared where she came from, as everyone only cared about her success and who she ultimately became. Diane went on, saying that she was quite impressed with how Mia had wronged her fellow journalists, like Alex and Conolly, but if Mia were to rise to a famous position like Diane’s, these petty incidents wouldn’t even matter to her anymore. The people whom she had wronged once would sit on the other side of her desk and pretend to be her best friends in front of the public. Not only that, but Diane also talked about her colleagues who were useless to her. Mia still asked her if that’s why she stole her story, but Diane once again refuted the statement, saying that she could pretend that her story was stolen, but actually, all credit belonged to Diane, who convinced Mia to come up with this piece. Mia realized that Diane wasn’t guilty of what she had done, so instead of rejoining her network, she chose to ruin her. Mia had a hidden recorder inside her robe, which recorded everything Diane said to her. Mia went back home and once again edited those recordings to make Diane look like an arrogant person who had always belittled her colleagues and stolen other people’s ideas to become famous. In this pursuit, Connolly helped Mia, even though she shouldn’t have; however, the recording was sent to TNR, and without even Diane’s knowledge, the network aired the story on Diane Heger. The story completely tarnished her reputation, prompting her to face the media, who constantly asked her how many stories she had stolen for the sake of her reputation.

During Cold Copy‘s ending, Diane Heger came face-to-face with Mia, who was simply enjoying her ruin, while Diane was surrounded by an excited crowd of press. But in the end, there was a smile on Diane’s lips, as if she were somehow a little bit proud of her student, who finally learned how to edit the truth properly to serve its purpose. 

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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