True Story full movie review - Oscar Winning Performance By James Franco and a Classic (Underrated of 2015)
****** SPOILER ALERT INCLUDED *********
Firstly, words can not express my deep sadness that this is based on a true story hence the title "True Story" and based on the book by Michael Finkel.
Also, spoiler alert: How on earth can the real Christian Longo still be alive after killing four innocent people (RIP) and getting famous via a book, film and writing articles etc. for other media outlets.
The saying "Life Isn't Fair" truly applies, but only God knows the answers and why? None, of us know how our life will start and end (this guy sickens me to the core).
The film itself, everyone played their roles brilliantly. I was extremely impressed with Jonah Hill's performance as Mike, very very strong. He gets better each time I see him and Felicity Jones had a small role but nailed it.
Before, we get to Franco's Oscar winning performance, whom I'm a huge fan off (gosh was he creepy in this film or what and would have made the ideal Joker for DC), there was some clarifications that other reviews have mentioned that I thought I should address:
1. Why was the film called "True Story", it's a boring title for the film? Well, as I mentioned previously, it's based on a book called "True Story" by Michael Finkel, plus within the film itself Mike mentions that he was thinking of calling it "True Story".
2. The writing/pacing was poor - in my opinion the writing/pacing of the film was just perfect, this is based upon again, on a true story, they couldn't go too over the top, it's not a blockbuster film and I liked the uniqueness of how it was handled.
Also, the real Mike viewed this film once completed and stated, it did the book justice and both Hill and Franco magnificently nailed their characters. In fact, Franco appeared spot on throughout, in particular the Court Trial scene that it generally frightened him and he was indeed part of the production, actually part of that particular scene in the film and it only apparently took one take to achieve as the director also confirmed.
I have to take his word on this than the critics hating on this excellent film, who I feel always have an agenda for Franco's films etc. to fail and by reading most of their reviews have never probably read the book in the first place or undergone a background story check.
Note: I see a lot of positive reviews haven't been added to Rotten Tomatoes also (always with a Franco film).
3. Some, have claimed it was too dull or had no big surprises, especially no kick-ass ending etc. I repeat, it is based on a true story, what do you mean it was dull? The murders were extremely gruesome and unfortunately very real to see and even, if you didn't know the back story behind this film, seeing the child in the case with the teddy bear at the start of the film and the Court Trial photo's, plus the creepiness and calmness of how Chris was played, basically, not knowing whether he was telling the truth or not kept me seriously hooked.
Especially, the desperation of Mike to believe him at first (seriously, what type of man still keeps in touch with a killer = greed) and that "Wink" what an evil so and so. By the way, the "Wink" is also clearly explained in the film, not sure why some people don't understand the meaning and was a big enough surprise for me, as well as many others, which was very small but important moments to drive the film forward.
As, for the kick-ass ending that some wanted. It was demonstrated perfectly, I think any sane person would wish the real Chris would disappear of the face of this earth but I repeat again it was based on real life events, so I don't see a problem (it was exciting enough). If they went over dramatic with the ending some people would still complain that they called the film true story but the ending was false.
Every crime drama or film noir thriller can't be the same, I liked this was different.
4. Rip-off of books/films Primal Fear, The Silence of the Lambs, Seven, A Few Good Men (the Court Trial scene as in Franco's performance was as strong as re Jack Nicholson in that film) and in particular In Cold Blood etc. I repeat again, this is a "True Story" based on "FACTS THAT HAPPENED" and people died, so it's not a rip-off of the films that I mentioned, but as a sick and masterful classic told on film as them.
Franco's performance was extraordinary to witness, one of his best performances ever that he has played (and we know James Dean, Pineapple Express, Milk, Howl, 127 Hours and Spring Breakers etc. are already classics).
Hands down, truly deserving of many awards for this performance alone (I hear, I Am Michael film is pretty special also by Franco), especially, in my opinion an overdue Oscar win.
He had me feeling sorry for him, hating him, and many other emotions (real nightmare performance and a classic). This movie no matter what the initial critical response is and box office numbers are will become a classic and Rupert Goold as a first time director and his team undertook this task brilliantly (only wish there wasn't real victims involved makes emotions even more mixed).
A must watch for true crime and film noir lovers (not suitable for children).