Absence of Malice is a 1981 film which tells the story of Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman), the son of a dead Mafia boss who discovers that he has become a front-page story in the local Miami newspaper, indicating that he is being investigated for a murder he didn't commit. Sally Field is the reporter who creates the story. As their worlds start to coincide, the ethics of journalism are tested, including how close a reporter should get to his or her source. The movie also stars Bob Balaban as an ambitious and unscrupulous Assistant United States Attorney, Melinda Dillon as a troubled friend of Gallagher's, and Wilford Brimley as a senior U.S. Department of Justice official.
It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Newman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dillon) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.