Jonah Hill plays Michael Finkel, a recently terminated New York Times journalist who's struggling for work after a story gone wrong. One day, he receives a phone call from a man regarding an FBI Most Wanted individual named Christian Longo, who's been captured and claimed to be living as Finkel. Longo and Finkel meet and form a potentially marriage shattering bond while Longo is in prison awaiting his trial. Finkel exchanges journalism tips for the real events behind Longo's alleged heinous acts of murdering his family. Through the twists and turns in the movie, only at the end will Finkel uncover the True Story. Written by
The fingerprint pattern on the movie poster is actually made up of the word "LIES" repeated over and over. See more »
Michael Finkel's news story on child slavery was set in Mali, but the language spoken by those characters is Ibo, which is spoken in Nigeria, not Mali. The translator's name was Ibrahim, which is a Muslim name; he could not have been Ibo, because Ibos are only in Nigeria and are 99% Christian. See more »
A true story is not necessarily an interesting one, a fact proved by this mess of a movie. The easy pickings for criticism begin with Jonah Hill – a very talented and enjoyable actor who is out of his depth in this leading role. After turning in excellent (and, to some, surprising) dramatic performances in Oscar-nominated supporting roles in Moneyball and the Wolf of Wall St., Hill, or someone in his camp, decided it was time to take a crack at a dramatic leading man role. I'm not saying he can't or won't someday be successful in that effort, but this wasn't time. Nor was it completely his fault.
The script and the direction lack clarity and vision. And, as the two greatest opponents in any communications endeavor are confusion and boredom, True Story pulls of the cardinal double no-no. First time feature film Director Rupert Goold had a potentially interesting story and some capable talent in his hands but simply didn't execute on it. The montages that fail to advance the story in an interesting manner are just one example maddening displays of wasted opportunity. The staging is often flat. The edits, at times, seem to happen because they can rather than for any good reason. The strange thing to me is, watching this film in a packed free preview audience, there were more than a few people that seemed to think it was at least "okay". I could be snarky and say they got what they paid for it, but I'll take the high road. My opinion, like all, should be taken with a grain of salt.
Hill plays Michael Finkel, a former New York Times reporter who got fired for the way he embellished a story and conflated sources to tell, what he felt, was a greater truth. I never believed Hill as a writer, though he has shown great intelligence in even some of his silliest characters previously. James Franco plays Christian Longo, who ranks among the lower level of scum of the earth for killing his wife and three kids in brutal and remorseless fashion. Felicity Jones is a fine actress whose character, Jill, seems to have some interesting things to say, but rarely gets a chance to show them. Her relationship with Hill is laughably bad. And as much as I wanted to cheer for her in the dramatic take it to Christian moment when she decides to visit him in prison (and she's there because it makes good drama ?), the movie was long since gone. James Franco flashes occasionally as Longo, but I still get the feeling he was bored or partially committed too often, unwilling to throw his full weight behind what he's doing. See him in Spring Breakers to get the depth of depravity played well if you want to see this type of thing.
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