On paper, “Seberg”, the story of a movie star targeted by the government during the civil rights movement should work really well. You have an excellent cast of fan favorites, an interesting story with a lot of angles, and a throwback period that’s played well in other recent successes. Unfortunately, something got missed in the editing room, resulting in a big missed opportunity.
Kristen Stewart stars as Jean Seberg, a movie star and financial supporter of the Black Panther party who lands on the radar of the FBI after becoming involved with one of their members, Hakim Jamal (played by Anthony Mackie). The government in an effort to try to derail the movement, spies on the romance and uses it against her in a sequence that begins to tear Seberg’s life apart.
I’m going to start with the good first because this really should have been a stronger film.
The supporting cast includes Vince Vaughn, Zazie Beets (Atlanta, Deadpool), and Stephen Root (Barry) all putting in good work. Director Benedict Andrews also makes gives us a good looking movie with a great late 60’s, early 70’s vibe that plays well, from Hollywood mansions to FBI bunkers.
It just needed to get put together correctly, and that didn’t happen.
After getting us off to a strong start, the second half of the film just falls apart and things just stop making sense. We’re not given enough background on why characters are behaving the way they do and when it comes time to resolve this entire story, the conclusion doesn’t do enough to answer all of our questions and wrap things up correctly.
It’s not a bad film, but it’s also not anything above average, which is unfortunate because you get the feeling that Kristen Stewart was really trying to take it to the next level here and wins some trophies. Maybe next time.
Running time: 1 hour 43 minutes