"Christine" (2016 release; 115 min.) is a movie about the final days of TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck. As the movie opens, we see Christine conduct an imaginary interview with President Nixon, who is under fire for Watergate. It is the summer of 1974, and Christine is a reporter at a small TV station in Sarasota, FL. She is not happy with her role at the station (dreaming to be promoted to a bigger anchoring role), and not happy with her life in general (living with her mom, no romantic interest in her life, etc.). At this point, we are 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out. Couple of comments: this movie, "based on true events" we are reminded at the beginning, is a stunning look at the downward spiral of a lonely but ambitious woman, who is determined to make it 'big' in the TV news business, yet seemingly can't catch a break. Director Antonio Campos does an excellent job, capturing the zeitgeist of the nation at that time, replicating the looks and feel of the summer of 1974 almost to perfection (including a bunch of radio hits from that era--now sounding pretty horrible). Even though Christine finds some outlets (volunteering at the local children's hospital), it isn't nearly enough to prevent the sad and horrifying ending. Since we all know going in how this is going to end, it makes for a pretty depressing experience, even though the movie itself is quite good. Rebecca Hall shines as Christine, and she carries the movie on her shoulders from start to finish, but equally outstanding is Tracy Lets as her boss Michael, the TV station's manager who keeps urging Christine to "just make your stories juicy" and "if it bleeds, it leads". Guess he never imagined Christine would take that to its ultimate conclusion... "Christine" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I couldn't wait to see it. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay, somewhat to my surprise. It looks like there is some interest out there to find out what drove this woman to do what she did. I don't know that I can recommend this movie all that strongly, since this is an utterly depressing viewing experience, but let me be clear that "Christine" is a well-made and well-acted movie for sure.
Biography / Drama
Biography / Drama
The story of Christine Chubbuck, a 1970s TV reporter struggling with depression and professional frustrations as she tries to advance her career.
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April 7, 2019