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True Story

True Story posterTrue Story is based on, well, a true story. But I suspect the actual events were more gripping than this somewhat interesting, but often boring psychological crime drama starring James Franco as accused family killer Christian Longo and Jonah Hill as disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel. For some reason, Longo took on Finkel’s identity while on the run for the gruesome murders of his wife and three young children. When he was caught, Finkel was the only one that Longo was willing to tell his story to.

The pair form a bizarre relationship that focuses on Longo revealing his version of events as he faces trial in Oregon for his alleged crimes, and on Finkel’s evolving thoughts on Longo’s guilt or innocence. Their banter is at times intense, at times creepy, and occasionally borderline humorous. Franco and Hill give solid performances. But in the end, I didn’t care all that much about either character’s guilt, innocence, or potential for redemption. The movie (based on the book by Michael Finkel) just falls flat. If you’re a fan of Franco and/or Hill and/or Felicity Jones (who is very good in a relatively small role as Finkel’s girlfriend), then you may want to check out True Story – as a rental. It should hit the streaming circuit soon enough.

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