Kristen Stewart channels French New Wave icon Jean Seberg.
- DirectorBenedict Andrews
- ActorsGabriel Sky, Kristen Stewart, Yvan Attal
- GenreBiopic, Drama, Thriller
- Running Time95 mins
- Release DateFriday 10th January 2020
Jean Seberg (Kirstin Stewart) is a Hollywood actor who becomes interested in and starts raising funds for the black power movement. Her activity is caught by FBI surveillance agent Jack Solomon (Jack O’Connell). With orders to destroy her credibility in the public eye, Solomon struggles with the moral choices he faces.
There is something broken in the heart of Hollywood. Clearly it has run out of ideas. So, when not remaking films that aren’t as old as cheese in the fridge, it is forced to rummage the bins of history. While serviceable, ‘Seberg’ is just another in the long list of insipid biopics.
Its main problem lies with the fact it is far too clinical. The people and organisation the film examines were, for better or worse, vivacious. It goes a long way to soften Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie) into a flawed yet likeable activist. This is, however, a man that would often claim he was god and was tentatively linked to the murder of Gale Benson. I don’t ask for films to be true to life but c’mon, at least be interesting.
It too also goes soft on the FBI. By giving us the presumably fictional agent Solomon as a human face it ends up as passive and barely touched tap on the wrist in recourse for a completely and utterly shameful moment in American history. It sorely lacks the oppressive nature of something like ‘The Conversation’. The attempt to show Solomon’s growing obsession with Seberg is also mishandled and severely lacking in any excitement. It doesn’t even bother to play with the voyeuristic nature of the film which is a trope that was mastered decades before the events took place.
Stewart is well cast, and she does display some good chops, but the character too quickly becomes passive. Her descent into paranoia is not near subtle enough and it feels forced, not to say this within the acting but with the pacing of the script.
The real major problem comes from director Benedict Andrews, this film could have been directed by anyone. Considering that it’s about a darling from the Nouvelle Vague you’d think he’d at least take some of the rebellious nature those films imbued. It is like the man has no interest in the subject matter, the implications of it or how to use semiotics.
What a complete waste of a concept, this is about as bland as vegetarian food from the ’90s. Your time would be much better spent watching ‘Rear Window’ and ‘À Bout de Souffle’, aimlessly flicking between both of them, and you’d still have a more coherent more interesting film.