True Story: Trailer Review

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.

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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.


10 thoughts on “True Story: Trailer Review

      1. Absolutely – and I love reading books written by insiders: my favourites are Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Kid Stays In The Picture, which I’m still trying to get back from my old neighbour. Great book, that really captures’ Evans voice. I also, somewhere, have You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again and another one I can’t recall by a screenwriter; it’ll come to me. I read Biskind’s one on Miramax too, and while I can believe the majority of it to be true, I don’t have the same interest in reading about Harvey and Bob Weinstein as I do about all the 70s superstars in Easy Riders…okay, it’s v gossipy, but anyone who says they’re not interested in film star gossip is a liar who’s usually trying to occupy the moral high ground…it’s different from talking about people you know. I don’t expect to run into Scorsese in Tesco (sadly for me; fortunately for him!)


  1. those are all great books .. i haven’t read the one on Miramax. i agree completely about the Robert Evans book. I also really enjoyed the biography of Robert Altman, and I have the bio of Woody Allen (the one that was released just before he broke up with Mia Farrow). But the single best, weirdest Hollywood book I have ever read is Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon. But I also very much enjoyed the bio of Joe Mankiewicz, which is absolutely filled with old style Hollywood gossip and bitchiness, and Richard E Grant’s diaries (ditto).


    1. I really fancy the Robert Altman, and Joe Mankiewicz’s sounds great – I do prefer Old Hollywood; these people really were stars. I was watching your video of those who died in 2014 (the BAFTAs will be grateful for that; it’s as good as theirs easily!) and with Lauren Bacall’s passing, I was thinking, who’s left? And the only one I could think of was Kirk Douglas. I love Hollywood Babylon – really could not put it down. And I think Richard E Grant’s diaries would be good – I can imagine him being v acidic…

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  2. Richard E Grant’s diaries are one of the bitchiest things I have ever read, and hysterical. His account of working on Hudson Hawk is brilliant, and of course there is also great insight into the making of Withnail & I. Grant is a tea-totaller, but Bruce Robinson wanted him to know what it feels like to be drunk, so he took him out and got him plastered. Thank you for your very kind words about my little tribute video. If you are partial to Old Hollywood, then I do highly recommend the Joe Mankiwicz bio. It’s called Pictures Will Talk and it’s written by a guy called Eric Geist; it was published in the early 70s and it’s filled with some great stuff (Mankiewicz was an awful gossip, and he also slept with a lot of stars). It covers every Mankiewicz film that he was involved in as writer, director, or producer all the way up to Sleuth, and it gives a real sense of the egos and general nobsense that went on. There is also an incredible account of an extraordinary meeting of the Directors Guild that took place one evening when Cacil b de mille and a few other right-wing directors tried to get all of hollywood to sign a loyalty oath. In a similar vein i would recommend Charles Higham’s bio of Bette Davis, which is just as full of bitchiness and cigarette smoke as you think.


    1. Oh fabulous – I must look out for them! The only problem is that some of the older books are out of print and you end up having to buy them second hand at more than you’d normally pay for a book, but they’re definitely worth it!


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