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True Story: Don’t Expect a Comedy, Despite the Cast

Posted by cfeehan on July 27, 2015

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True Story, a film based on Michael Finkel's 2005 memoir — "True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa", depicts just how easy it is for an innocent person to get stuck in the web of lies that a narcissistic sociopath can so easily spin. 

The film begins by introducing Michael, a New York Times journalist played by Jonah Hill, whose professional reputation becomes shattered almost as soon as the film begins. Soon after this, he is contacted by a man who informs him that Christian Longo, a man who is accused of murdering his family, has been using Michael’s identity. Michael immediately sees an opportunity to restart his writing career and contacts Christian, played by James Franco, and the two form an unusual relationship. 

First off, it is still strange for me to see Jonah Hill and James Franco in serious roles. While Hill has ventured into the drama genre with Money Ball and some of his other more solemn films – I’m definitely more accustomed to his Superbad persona. The same goes for Franco; it took me a while to shake my expectations of him based on movies like Pineapple Express or The Interview. That being said, they both did a good job adapting to their non-comedic surroundings; Franco portrays charismatic but creepy Longo effectively and Hill does a good job as desperate but skeptical Finkel.

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One character who I thought was completely unnecessary, however, was Michael’s wife, Jill. She was played by Felicity Jones, and although you keep hoping her character will become useful in some way, she never ends up doing anything of importance.

What I did like about the movie was the subject matter and the fact that it was based on a true story. Who doesn’t appreciate a good murder mystery every once in a while? This factor made the movie very compelling, and it was amplified by the fact that you knew the proceedings had actually taken place. Immediately after the movie ended, I researched the case of Christian Longo to learn more – clearly, the movie did a good job at keeping me intrigued!

All in all, the movie was interesting and most of the characters were portrayed well. It delivered some intense scenes and some definite twists, although I was left wishing it had ventured a bit deeper into Longo’s past and motivations. Regardless, True Story is a thriller that is worth watching if you enjoy murder mysteries and if you’d like to see two traditionally comedic actors in a completely different light.

You can find True Story on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch.100) from July 28th to August 27th, 2015.

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.