The Films of Antonio Campos
Christine (October 20/16)
Christine tells the true-life story of television news reporter Christine Chubbock (Rebecca Hall), with the movie following the tragic figure as she attempts to both advance her career and cultivate a meaningful relationship. Filmmaker Antonio Campos does a superb job of immediately drawing the viewer into the movie's very specific time and place, as the early part of Christine focuses on the central character's exploits within the TV studio at which she works - with the effectiveness of these scenes heightened by a rock-solid supporting cast that includes Michael C. Hall (as a sympathetic coworker) and Tracy Letts (as Christine's intimidating, pragmatic boss). Campos' slow, methodical approach admittedly does prove an ideal complement to Craig Shilowich's subdued screenplay, and yet, despite Hall's fairly captivating performance, Christine does begin to run out of steam long before it even reaches the halfway mark. It becomes increasingly clear that there just isn't enough material here to sustain such a long picture (115 minutes!), as the narrative is suffused with, to a progressively pronounced extent, sequences that are either padded out or entirely needless - which does, in turn, diminish the impact of Hall's undeniably searing portrait of her character's crumbling mental state. And while the buildup to the protagonist's inevitable fate is handled quite well (ie it's a tense and decidedly heartbreaking stretch), Christine ultimately concludes on a palpably anticlimactic note that's somewhat emblematic of the movie's wobbly execution (which is a shame, really, given the massive potential afforded by the fascinating premise).