Christine is a film based on the true story of 1970s TV reporter, Christine Chubbuck. In typical Hollywood fashion, many of the finer details have been changes or left out of the film. Without spoiling the movie, you have to wonder why some of these changes were made. While some of the changes removed a bit of the foreshadowing that would occur if the film played out a bit closer to the real life events, the movie feels a bit empty as it stands.
The film stars Rebecca Hall as the titular character, Christine. She offers a convincing look at someone struggling with depression and shifting through a multitude of emotions throughout the movie. Joining her is Michael C. Hall as anchorman, George Peter Ryan. Dexter fans should recognize Hall’s performance as it could easily be Dexter Morgan trying to act a little more “normal” taking on the role of a TV reporter. It’s a similar, but fitting performance when compared to the hit Showtime series.
Going into Christine without knowledge of the real-life events the film is based on is the ideal way to watch. Not knowing the outcome of the events will keep you guessing and perplexed as to where the film is heading. However, if you know how these events conclude, most of the film feels like monotonous setup with a somewhat lackluster payoff.
No matter how you go into the film, the acting is superb as the audience feels as though they’ve been transported back into the 70s, dealing with the life problems presented to the characters on screen. Everything from Christine’s failing personal life, to her co-workers struggle to deal with her professional life is played out to near perfection.
The problem with Christine is that the first two acts of the film simply don’t grab the audience. There’s no reason to be invested in these characters as much of the back story of the real events is absent from the film. At nearly two hours, it’s understandable why the back story and other more intricate details have been left out, but it leaves the story barren until the final act.
With the talent involved in Christine, the blame for the film’s shortcomings seems to fall squarely on writer Craig Shilowich. As his only writing credit, the problems with Christine seem to stem from the script. Leaving out critical information to include scenes that don’t add much to the film and make it a dull affair didn’t do the movie any favors. If you catch Christine on cable, it’s worth a watch, but otherwise you can just look up the real facts to get a better picture of what happened.
Christine: [usr 3.5]
Synopsis: The story of 1970s TV reporter Christine Chubbuck and the trials and tribulations of her life.
Director: Antonio Campos
Writer: Craig Shilowich
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts
Runtime: 1 Hour, 55 Minutes