DIRECTOR: benedict andrews (una)
STARRING: kristen stewart, anthony mackie, jack o'connell and margaret qualley
REVIEWER: lyall carter
In the late 1960s, Hoover's FBI targeted actress Jean Seberg because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal.
Kristen Stewart has had a couple of films to forget recently. The reboot of Charlie’s Angels was one of 2019’s biggest box office flops and her new underwater adventure film aptly titled Underwater appears to be heading the same way.
Seberg is a completely different kettle of fish; drama, true story and a bonafide actors dream. But despite its great material, narrative and performances, Seberg feels like a paint it by numbers kinda biopic.
In the late 1960s, French new wave actress and "Breathless" star Jean Seberg becomes the target of the FBI due to her support of the civil rights movement and her romantic involvement with Hakim Jamal - a Black Panther activist. She soon finds her life and career in jeopardy as the overreaching surveillance and harassment starts to take a toll on everything she holds dear.
Jean Seberg’s story is one I had never heard previously to seeing this film. It’s an incredible tale that isn’t just another tale about the struggles of some Hollywood actress but is a story that encapsulates the major elements of the 60’s America; Hollywood, the civil rights movement and a distrust for big government and established authority found in the FBI’s investigation of Seberg.
The film thunders, growls, roars and throws questions at you through out its first act but unfortunately takes its foot off the throttle for the second and third act. Kristen Stewart genuinely surprises in this film with a performance that perfectly captures the persistent drive yet fragile humanity of Jean Seberg and the best performance I’ve ever seen her give. She is supported by a great ensemble cast including Anthony Mackie, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Vince Vaughn, and Colm Meaney.
A career best performance from Kristen Stewart supported by a thunderous ensemble cast makes Seberg a must watch in spite of its slight missteps.