Michael Finkel was a New York Times reporter who had been disgraced and let go when a story went very wrong. This lead him to meeting accused killer Christian Longo who had taken on Finkel’s identity before he was caught.
This film turned out to be a lot better than I first expected in all honesty, Hill and Franco work very well together in some very interesting scenes. Throw in Felicity Jones and we have a pretty underrated and not very well-known film, I hadn’t heard of it before seeing it on Amazon Video and deciding it could well be worth a watch.
Finkel sees this as a massive opportunity to then write a book about Longo and the crime he may or may not have committed. That is something that is explored in the meetings between the pair and into the court case for his life. In return Longo wanted to learn about journalism from Finkel and really gets under his skin, and the skin of the viewer as well. You are engrossed and constantly trying to figure out if he did it or not, you kind of become Finkel and at different moments will think he did kill his wife and children, but then a few minutes later you will think he didn’t.
I find Jonah Hill to be very hit-miss still and I think that he often does very well in a more serious film and I think it is pretty safe to say this is one of the best performances I have seen him do, as it was totally different to his normal roles. That is something you want from actors though to surprise you and do something that really is a little bit different. I guess the same can be said for James Franco as well, considering in recent years he has fallen into the awful comedy genre of being a total idiot in his film roles. This was different, he took on a creepy yet serious role and you weren’t really sure how to judge his character.
I mean I am not saying that this film is utterly outstanding or groundbreaking but it is very watchable and engaging, mainly because of the leading actors. Felicity Jones included in that even if he role is on the small side, she is still very effective in the story. I don’t remember seeing if this film actually got a UK cinema release or not, but if it did it must have been very limited as I don’t remember seeing any trailers or build up for it. Certainly one of the better films you can choose to watch on a streaming service though, always bonuses I guess!
If you have watched this film I am very interested to find out what you thought of it, especially the ending as it didn’t go the way I thought it was heading in to be brutally honest. I was happy with the ending, but I thought it was going to be different and leave me annoyed!