U.S., 2016, 120 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Antonio Campos, Rated R, The Orchard
"Far from the austere death march it might appear on paper, this is a thrumming, heartsore, sometimes viciously funny character study." – Guy Lodge, Variety
Christine (Rebecca Hall) is an ambitious 29-year-old news reporter in Sarasota, Florida, circa 1974. Relentlessly driven to succeed, she knows she has talent, but being a driven career woman in the 1970s comes with its own challenges, especially when competition for a promotion, unrequited love for a coworker, and a tumultuous home life lead to a dissolution of self. With ratings in the cellar, WZRB's program manager issues a mandate to deliver juicier and more exploitative stories, a style firmly at odds with Christine's serious brand of issue-based journalism. To accomplish her goals, she must overcome her self-doubt and give the people what why want. As made evident in his previous features, director Antonio Campos is well-versed in translating the damaged psyche to film. This latest effort elevates his style to the next level; bathed in dread and peppered with sharp humor, Christine is a hypnotic and arresting portrayal of a woman at a crossroads; the film that finally makes good on Rebecca Hall's flinty, often under-challenged gifts. By turns shrilly frightening and blearily sucker-punched, her performance bears improbable comparison with Natalie Portman's Oscar-winning Black Swan turn as a tale of self-disarrangement from the inside out.