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Rebecca Hall plays Christine Chubbuck in Christine.

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Christine
Written by
Craig Shilowich
Directed by
Antonio Campos
Starring
Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts
Classification
18A
Country
USA
Language
English

What could possibly have been going on in the mind of Christine Chubbuck, a 29-year-old newscaster at a television station in Sarasota, Fla., in July of 1974, when, to protest the sensationalizing of the news, she took a gun to her anchor desk and shot herself on air? (Many posit that she was Paddy Chayefsky's inspiration for the 1976 film Network.) How does her story resonate in today's even more overheated media climate? Those are the questions posed by Christine, written by Craig Shilowich and directed by Antonio Campos. Highly intelligent but socially awkward, a virgin who lives with her mother, Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall) clearly suffers from depression – though the film, to its credit, resists easy labels. Her co-workers, played by Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Maria Dizzia, struggle and fail to understand her. Hall creates a fierce, uncompromising portrait of a woman who was prescient enough to see the dark places her culture was headed – the logical end game of our "if it bleeds, it leads" obsessions – but also damaged enough to succumb to them.

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