It's only when their young son dies in a hunting accident that Brenda decides to make the break with Tony. Being a gentleman, Tony agrees to grant Brenda a divorce and even goes so far as to pretend to be the guilty party by hiring a woman to spend the weekend with him in a hotel so he can be accused of adultery. However when Brenda starts to make unreasonable demands in terms of alimony — she has a young man to support in a style that he's accustomed to, after all — he refuses to go along with the deal. Instead, when a chance meeting throws him together with an explorer setting off to chart unexplored regions of the Amazon river in South America, he agrees to fund an expedition and sets off into the wilds, leaving Brenda high and dry.
While the acting of the leads is universally excellent, with Kristen Scott Thomas playing Brenda, Rupert Graves her young lover, and James Wilby the cuckolded husband Tony, Anjelica Huston, Judi Dench, and Alec Guiness steal the spotlight with cameo appearances at various points throughout the film. Unfortunately the script doesn't quite match up to the quality of the acting, for while we do feel some genuine sympathy for Tony, and loathing for Brenda and Beaver, we're never quite sure what has really motivated Brenda to take up with this young man who has almost no redeeming qualities and who treats her quite badly. He's so obviously only interested in her money that one can't quite fathom how she could want to stay involved with him for any length of time, let alone be the person she'd leave her husband for.
Scoop on the other hand is not only well acted, it is a much better script. It does a great job in skewering all aspects of the British press from the reporters in the field to the owners of the papers and their editorial staff. Through a case of mistaken identity young William Boot, a nature writer for "The Beast", is sent off to the African republic of Ishmaelia to cover the civil war supposedly in progress. When he arrives he discovers the press corps are all camped out in the capital city's one hotel and there's no sign of any fighting going on anywhere. Under orders to report back on a "Patriots" victory by Tuesday from the megalomanic owner of The Beast (Donald Pleasence), Boot is in serious danger of being fired until he uncovers an actual plot to overthrow the president by the minister of information.