So I watched True Story…
This movie would have probably flown under my radar had a friend not requested I do a review. I watched the trailer and it interested me. Mystery murder thrillers can be really captivating stories (especially when they’re based on actual events) and I’m really loving seeing Jonah Hill in more dramatic roles.
Okay, basic plot: James Franco stars as Christian Longo, a man on trial for the alleged murder of his three children and wife. Jonah Hill stars as Michael Finkel, a former writer for The New York TImes, who Longo has specifically chosen to tell his story. The movie describes the relationship between the two and the respective ambitions of the two men as the story unfolds.
This movie was quite disappointing. It isn’t boring, it’s just dull. Dull in almost every respect. Dull acting, dull writing, dull direction. This movie promises so much but rarely delivers on this promise. It isn’t much of a mystery or a thriller, if anything, it’s a documentary. This really upsets me because when I go watch a movie, even if it’s based on a tragic story, I want to be entertained. This is going to sound horrible; but people die every day and if I wanted to see an incredibly accurate description of these stories, I would watch the news. But I came to the cinema, paid money and expect to be entertained. I’m not saying this entertainment needs to come with cheap thrills; I can handle a thinking piece that’s complex but this film isn’t anything. It’s more a dramatisation than a movie and it left me wanting more.
I think the best performance in this movie comes from James Franco. For the majority of the movie I thought his acting was rather stale and wooden but as the movie goes along and certain plot elements develop, you find out that it’s all apart of the character’s personality. I think Jonah Hill bit off a little more than he could chew with this movie. He’s extremely talented and I think he does have the range to handle dramatic roles but this role was too large for him. This role needed an actor with subtle acting skills, a person who can convey a spectrum of emotions with simple gestures. If Hill’s character had a big emotional outburst or was more dynamic, I think Hill would have done well but he’s just not good enough yet to tackle this.
Felicity Jones is also in this movie and her role and performance are as unnecessary as they were in The Theory of Everything.
Overall, this movie isn’t thrilling, entertaining or mysterious. It just informs you about a horrific crime but doesn’t add any style or substance to justify it being a movie. It’s not worth a trip to the cinema. 4/10