Wednesday, 12 October 2016

LFF 2016: Christine

Rebecca Hall anchors Antonio Campos' refreshingly objective biopic of troubled '70s newscaster Christine Chubbuck with such understated grace and control that if this film doesn't put her on the A List, nothing will. Front and centre throughout, Hall is mesmerising as the committed, idealist newshound constantly up against the powers that be at her ratings-chasing local news station.

Campos and writer Craig Shilowich set themselves the unenviable task of believably depicting Christine's descent towards her own story's tragic climax, opting for a non-judgemental, detached approach which deliberately answers few of the questions it raises. Nevertheless, Christine's battle for her own soul is a captivating watch, and the supporting characters are richly drawn, real people, quietly fighting their own battles in the background.

"People are listening to me," Christine says, "so I need to make sure that I'm really saying something." She definitely achieved that goal; whether the film of her story does too is open to debate. But Rebecca Hall is shouting from the rooftops right now, so you'd better start listening.

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