Okay, so the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy The Interview is terrible (I shit all over it here)
But perhaps Franco can redeem himself with True Story, which looks rather good.
Starring Franco, Jonah Hill, and Felicity Jones, this is, ahem, a true story about a New York Times journo, Mike Finkel (Hill) and his relationship with a killer, Christian Longo (Franco), who used Finkel’s name when he was arrested.
This looks like a tense, serious thriller, and is already one of 2015’s most eagerly-anticipated films (proof that audiences are probably read to see both Hill and Franco do serious stuff).
No doubt it will have some cliched cheesy moments – hinted in the trailer by a shot of Franco about to undo his handcuffs, and a moment when he calls Finkel’s wife (Felicity Jones).
Here’s the official synopsis:
Jonah Hill plays Michael Finkel, a recently terminated New York Times journalist who’s struggling for work after a story gone wrong. One day, he receives a phone call from a man regarding an FBI Most Wanted individual named Christian Longo, who’s been captured and claimed to be living as Finkel. Longo and Finkel meet and form a potentially marriage shattering bond while Longo is in prison awaiting his trial. Finkel exchanges journalism tips for the real events behind Longo’s alleged heinous acts of murdering his family. Through the twists and turns in the movie, only at the end will Finkel uncover the True Story.
I think that Jonah Hill has the acting chops to be a serious thesp; he just needs to stop making shitty comedies.
Likewise, Franco’s turn in 127 Days was a revelation, and he was great in Milk, but I don’t know that I’ve seen him that good in years (and let’s face it, he’s awful in The Interview).
I just saw Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and she was very good, so obviously her star is on the rise.
The film is directed by Rupert Goold, who made the excellent Richard II for the BBC a while back.
And it’s produced by Brad Pitt, and whatever you think of Pitt as an actor, as a producer he has the Midas touch.
True Story will screen at Sundance this month before getting a release in April.