London Film Festival Day 2: Moonlight, A Monster Calls, Christine & More

8. Christine

A Monster Calls
The Orchard

Director Antonio Campos (Afterschool, Simon Killer) turns in one of the most quietly devastating, achingly human films of the year, covering the final period of Florida anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck's life, who shocked the world when she fatally shot herself live on-air in 1974.

Rebecca Hall gives by far the best performance of her career as the title "character", a fascinatingly complex figure who rises above mere sad sack cliches as Campos, Hall and writer Craig Shilowich dare to go further by examining the nature of depression, loneliness, perfectionism, and the cut-throat nature of journalism.

Rather than focus on Chubbuck's untimely end, Campos instead digs deep into who she was as a person, mining plenty of pathos out of what could so easily have been an exploitative puff-piece. Supporting work from the likes of Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia and J. Smith-Cameron is as reliably on-point as you'd both hope for and expect.

Rating: Hall has never been better and certainly wouldn't look out of place in the awards race, though the film's low profile means she'll probably miss out. For those prepared to spend two hours in this world, it's an extremely rewarding character study. 8/10


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.