The movie stars gathered at the Riverside Church in New York to read an adaptation of special counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Trump's possible obstruction of that investigation written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Shenkkan.

But the point seemed to be to try to bring the Mueller report to life, using the talents and charms and fame of Hollywood, so that the public—and perhaps Congress, for whom the report was actually written—might finally take note.

It felt like Hollywood's attempt to make up for a different, less animated performance that happened a month ago.

The star of the show couldn't have had a more rapt audience hanging on his every word.

This, liberals and resistancefighters and even centrists thought, was the moment that the man who'd been dogging President Trump for two years would explain the conclusions of his long-awaited report clearly, emphatically, once and for all.

Instead, viewers watching TV news or listening to the radio or tuned into the livestream at their desks heard a nervous, almost monotone lawyer speaking in legalese.

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