Kristen Stewart is one of the best actresses working today. Ever since her Twilight days, she’s worked hard to be taken seriously and to create a name for herself in Hollywood. As much as her body of work varies, her forte has always been character-driven dramas, and her latest project, Seberg, is no exception - except it’s not good.
Now, the film is competently made. There wasn’t a single shot that I thought was bad, and there were some occasionally neat sequences too, but overall there was nothing extraordinary or groundbreaking done. One of the neat sequences involved Kristen Stewart’s Seberg looking out of her window and turning to see a mysterious man looking right back at her. He smiles. She looks creeped out, and her reaction is justified moments later when we find out that that mysterious man works for the agency that’s been tracking her. I think the film might have been a bit more interesting if there were more moments like that, but instead we get an uninspired and ultimately very by-the-books film.
On paper, Seberg is about actress Jean Seberg, played by Kristen Stewart and the FBI’s targeted surveillance of her as a result of her relationship with a prominent African American Civil Right activist, Hakim Jamal, played by Anthony Mackie. However, there is so much going on in this film. In addition to following Seberg, the film also takes us into the life of one of the men (Jack O’Connell) hired to tail her. We also meet his wife (Margaret Qualley) who wants to be a progressive female doctor. And this is all in addition to following Jamal and his wife, played by Zazie Beetz. Oh, and Vince Vaughn is also along for the ride too.
This film has so many characters and too many threads for a film that’s supposed to be about one person. That’s not even the worst part though. Halfway through the film, after Seberg finds out she’s being tailed, the entire tone shifts. The film transforms into a psychological thriller. Seberg’s paranoia gets the best of her and affects every aspect of her life. No one believes her, even though we know that she’s not crazy, and that just defeats the purpose of the film going down that avenue in the first place.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Kristen Stewart is good in this film! Her performance was honestly the only thing I bought. Jack O’Connell is also good, but he feels a bit miscast. Early on in the film, it’s established that he’s a comic-book fan; he’s also supposed to have a/v nerd which is why he ends up involved in monitoring Seberg. Realistically, he doesn’t look the part though. Anthony Mackie, a.k.a the second most busiest person in Hollywood (after Samuel L. Jackson) because he also seems to be in everything lately, also delivers a solid performance; however, the story scraps his character after the first half of the film.
All of the actors in this film are great. There’s no denying that, but they just don’t all do great jobs because there’s either too much going on and/or too little for them to do.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Of all the film’s aspects, the sound was actually one of its best. And in the context of what the film is about, it makes sense why. The film revolves around the audio recordings of Seberg, so without them or an understanding of what was on them, nothing else would matter. The sound design is flawless.
The film’s score on the other hand was just okay. It didn’t really add anything to the story or evoke any particular emotions from me, but it keeps the film afloat.
While there are little to no special effects in the film, there are plenty of wigs - and some pretty bad ones at that. Stewart wears far too many too count, but the worst one by far is worn by Zazie Beetz’s character. Her makeup also looked a little overdone. For a film set during one of Hollywood’s earlier periods, I expected just a little bit more quality and attention to detail from the hair and makeup department.
"If You Can Change One Mind, You Can Change The World.."
Genre: Drama. Thriller. Biography.
This film preaches about changing the importance of a person’s mind, but it can’t seem to make up its own about what it wants to be. Not even an A-List ensemble can cover up this tired attempt at preserving her legacy. What should be a rightful tribute to a tormented woman ends up just highlighting her scandal as opposed to her humility. Jean Seberg was never a household name in America, and because of this film, she probably won’t ever be one either. She never got justice when she was alive, and this film certainly doesn’t do her justice now.