#REVIEW: “TRUE STORY”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
The Industrial Age steamrolled its way into a Technological Era. Now time is measured in picoseconds and reality is pixelated. Fact appears like fiction and what defines a “true story” is tough to determine.
This sort of contemporary confusion is at the heart of the new Film, True Story. Aptly titled, it is adapted from the Novel, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa. It is the Tale of blackballed Journalist Michael Finkel and brooding Criminal Christian Longo. Helmed by newcomer Rupert Goold the Movie begins with Finkel (played by Jonah Hill), manipulating a Story about the African Slave Trade in hopes of garnering storied accolades. At the same time, Finkel (played by James Franco), struggles to light a prayer candle in an ornate Mexican church. Both Men are Liars, but only one is Michael Finkel.
The second Man is Christian Longo. Shortly after a helping hand lights his candle he is handcuffed by FBI Agents and brought into American custody. In his home and native land he is accused of murdering his Wife and three Children. In an effort to plead his innocence he turns to the Man whose identity he stole, Michael Finkel.
Muddy Waters, to say the least. But clouded vision is needed to make a mystery Movie work. The self-doubt portrayed by Jonah Hill, and the ominous performance delivered by James Franco work to establish the tension needed to drive this mystery forward. The two Actors are the heart of this descent into darkness. Through their efforts the audience experiences peeks of doubt and valleys of understanding. Felicity Jones is a solid support as well, and it is only she who steals the limelight away from the Male Leads. In one scene in particular… but this is not the place to spoil such things.
True Story is not the sort of Film bound to be a Blockbuster, but it is nevertheless worthy of an Audience’s attention. We live in an age where the truth is more uncertain than it ever has been before. Though we still may believe things to be true, it is challenging to convince others of the validity of whatever variety of truths we cling to. True Story portrays this type of uncertainty with subtle brilliance.
For those looking to open their minds and shake their foundations, True Story is in theatres now via Fox Searchlight, and ready to rock you.