Run time: 1hr 59m
Director: Antonio Campos
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron, Maria Dizzia
Synopsis: The story of Christine Chubbuck, a 1970s TV reporter struggling with
depression and professional frustrations as she tries to advance her career.
Director Antonio Campos [Simon Killer (2012), Afterschool (2008)], with a script by Craig Shilowich, brings the true story of Christine Chubbock, a 1970s television reporter in a Sarasota, Florida station who tragically committed suicide during a live television news broadcast.
Chubbock’s story is said to have inspired the character Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch in Sidney Lumet’s film Network (1976).
The ambitious, talented 29-year-old – played by Rebecca Hall, in a career best performance – is totally motivated to make it in the male-dominated business of television journalism. However ratings are dropping and the station manager, Michael (Tracy Letts) issues an instruction that stories have to be more exploitative and ’jucier’
‘If it bleeds – it leads’’ is his mantra,–but this style is the antithesis of Chubbock’s serious, issue-based journalism. Soon she begins to crack and her struggle with depression impacts on her personal and professional life.
A strong ensemble cast – with Michael C. Hall as George, the main anchor of the television station; Maria Dizzia as Jean, camerawoman; and J Smith-Cameron as Peg Chubbock’s bewildered mother – and a flawless 1970’s mise-en-scene create the film’s uncomfortable, tense and fatalistic atmosphere. But this is really Rebecca Hall’s film and a superb showcase for her arresting screen presence.
Images courtesy of Curzon Artificial Eye