“True Story” Review:

True Story tells us the dark story of a disgraced journalist Mike Finkel who is fired by the New York Times and is looking for a new story to tell when he receives a phone call that a man who has been accused of killing his family is using his name which is actually Christian Longo.

James Franco and Jonah Hill star in this film which is directed by Rupert Goold in his feature film debut and is based on true events. It was released on April 17th.

What a film it is. Some of the best work so far in 2015. I really enjoyed this film. I was into it from the very beginning. The dark tone set by director Rupert Goold really looms over the entire hour and forty minute runtime. Some of the small technical aspects really ring true, the lighting when Franco’s character is present is a tad darker from when he isn’t. Rupert Goold directs this film
brilliantly. Not once did I look at my watch I was intrigued from beginning to end. There is some solid imagery and symbolism in the way he shoots the film. Montages are used to show Franco and Hill’s characters writing back and forth to each other which are shot beautifully.

James Franco is phenomenal as Christian Longo. You can tell there is something off about him from the very beginning. The way he delivers his lines is chilling. Franco has a moment on trial where you are glued to the screen. I couldn’t take my eyes off the scene in that moment. Franco is startling in this roll and is some of his best work in years.

Jonah Hill is solid as Mike Frankil. This broken down journalist who is fired from the Times is thrust into a very intriguing situation. Once he explores it and goes to visit Franco you are glued to the screen. The way they play off each other is smart and also very creepy and hits you at your core. You can tell Mike is after his next story but doesn’t want to lose the truth for the sake of the story. Hill does great in portraying that conflict and internal struggle. There’s a scene after Longos trial when Mike goes and locks himself in the bathroom and angrily lets out his frustration.

Felicity Jones is also in this and doesn’t really have anything to do. Which is a shame because an actress of her caliber should always be put to good use. However she does have a great scene when Jill the wife of Mike goes to visit Christian in prison. That’s really her only memorable moment. Which isn’t to be understated because she was phenomenal in that scene. Another negative is that there really is no huge payoff, we never really get what actually happened. This kind of bothered me but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this film.

If you can catch this film do yourself a favor and check it out asap.

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