Thursday, 12 January 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Jackie", "A United Kingdom", "Christine", "Kate Plays Christine"

Julien Faddoul

Jackie ***

An account of the days of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
Staggering, emotionally incalculable portrait of a historical figure despite the script’s singular focus on grief. It characterizes its principal depiction as a woman who is struggling to secure someone else’s place in history while the clock is ticking, a woman having to deal with being a part of a very public murder and a woman who, for what would be the worst week of her life, has complete authority of all the men around her. It is a superb mélange of anguish, vanity and loss of power, anchored by an equally superb and rather risky central performance.

d – Pablo Larrain
w – Noah Oppenheim
ph – Stéphane Fontaine
pd – Jean Rabasse
m – Mica Levi
ed – Sebastián Sepúlveda
cos – Madeline Fontaine

p – Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel, Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Max Casella, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Grant, Caspar Phillipson

A United Kingdom

Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940s.
Shallow, saccharine biographical romantic drama that reduces its central dispute to what feels like episodes of polite quarrels between the couple and the plastic representatives who antagonized their union.

d – Amma Asante
w – Guy Hibbert
ph – Sam McCurdy
pd – Simon Bowles
m – Patrick Doyle
ed – Jonathan Amos, Jon Gregory
cos – Jenny Beavan, Anushia Nieradzik

p – Brunson Green, Peter Heslop, Charlie Mason, Rick McCallum, Justin Moore-Lewy, David Oyelowo

Cast: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Terry Pheto, Laura Carmichael, Charlotte Hope

Christine *

The story of Christine Chubbuck, a 1970s TV reporter struggling with depression and professional frustrations as she tries to advance her career, who famously shot herself in the head during a report on live television in Sarasota, Florida.
A film with an extremely elusive point – at least one that never truly reveals itself. Chubbuck’s story is legendary but it remains unclear why it is a story the cinema needs, since the legend only developed from its key tragic moment; a moment which silences all and allows for no further illumination. In any event, the filmmakers try their best at a futile endeavor, with a fiercely committed and intense performance from Hall.

d – Antonio Campos
w – Craig Shilowich
ph – Joe Anderson
pd – Scott Kuzio
m – Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
ed – Sofía Subercaseaux
cos – Emma Potter

p – Melody C. Roscher, Craig Shilowich

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron, Kim Shaw, Timothy Simons, John Cullum

Kate Plays Christine ***

Follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares for her next role: playing Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates Chubbuck’s story, uncovering new clues and information, she becomes increasingly obsessed with her subject.
An ingenious solution to the thematic problem that filming this story imposes. Chubbuck, however misguided she was, attempted to call attention to the media’s growing obsession with blood and guts. Greene and Sheil seamlessly weave the facts with the fantasy and administer a reflective view of how such events become opportunistic when put in front of a camera. It is also an outstanding rendering of how an actor prepares for a role.

wd – Robert Greene
ph – Sean Price Williams
pd – John Dickson
m – Keegan DeWitt
ed – Robert Greene
cos – Hannah Kittell

p – Susan Bedusa, Douglas Tirola

Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil

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