Rebecca as: Christine Chubbuck
Genre(s): Drama
Written by: Craig Shilowich
Directed by: Antonio Campos
Other Cast: Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia, Timothy Simons
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Production Budget:
Total Worldwide Gross:
Filming Locations: Savannah, Georgia

Rebecca Hall stars in director Antonio Campos’ third feature film, Christine, the story of a woman who finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a spiraling personal life and career crisis. Christine, always the smartest person in the room at her local Sarasota, Florida news station, feels like she is destined for bigger things and is relentless in her pursuit of an on-air position in a larger market. As an aspiring newswoman with an eye for nuance and an interest in social justice, she finds herself constantly butting heads with her boss (Tracy Letts), who pushes for juicier stories that will drive up ratings. Plagued by self-doubt and a tumultuous home life, Christine’s diminishing hope begins to rise when an on-air co-worker (Michael C. Hall) initiates a friendship which ultimately becomes yet another unrequited love. Disillusioned as her world continues to close in on her, Christine takes a dark and surprising turn.

Production Info

One of the only productions to use two working Quad VTRs in one shot.

One of the two features about Christine Chubbuck that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The other one was docudrama Kate Plays Christine directed by Robert Greene.

Filmed on location in Savannah, GA during the spring of 2015.

Quoting: Rebecca Hall

On her character: She struck me as someone who is desperately trying to live, actually. She’s desperately trying to do well, and part of that is this constant performance of what she perceives to be normal and acceptable in the world — which is something that I think everyone can relate to.

On Christine’s struggles: There’s no way of saying what Christine was — she wasn’t diagnosed, I can’t say like, “Oh, she was bipolar” or “Oh, she was this,” the only thing I could do was look at the script and from sort of a modern understanding of mental health issues, make some sort of guess of what our version of Christine was suffering from. My take on it was that she was a Borderline Personality Depressive. She’s very, very difficult to diagnose, and very difficult to treat, and nearly always gets sort of slightly pushed aside like, “You’re a difficult person” and even more so, “You’re a difficult woman,” tragically.

On how audiences can relate to the film: There are things about Christine we all can relate to; that’s discomfiting, because she decides to do something incredibly violent. But how does anyone become radicalized? I don’t think it’s helpful to put them all in a box and say people are evil and freaks because they have gotten to the point where they have fallen out of the community of what it is to be a human being. That’s worthy of investigation.

On researching the role: I had 20 minutes of her on TV, and that was incredibly informative because it was 20 minutes of her presenting a show that was in no way indicative of how she walked or talked throughout her whole life. To do an impression of that would have been a mistake, but it did give me a jumping-off point in the same way you can have a first impression of someone you meet and how often that gets misguided the longer you know them.

On her attraction to the role: It is so rare that you get a Christine as an actor. I think if you’re really very, very lucky, you get them maybe two or three times in your entire career. And that’s only if you’re lucky, and massively successful, and probably only if you’re a man, to be honest with you. Thank goodness there’s more and more a celebration of women playing big heroes in huge movies. We’ve still got a little way to go before it’s acceptable for women to be antiheroes.

On the rarity of similar roles: I think that female roles: they can be victims, they can be sympathetic, they can be in pain, they can be in suffering – but they can’t be ugly. I think there’s so much fear surrounding that, that it makes a film unlikeable, that it won’t sell. If I’m going to be honest about it: I think men get to do this sort of thing all the time. You look at countless performances by great male actors who get to play the whole gamut of human emotions. Women aren’t regularly allowed to do that, and I don’t know why people are so frightened by it. The moment you do, I’m struck by how many people come up to you. Since Christine started screening, I’m overwhelmed by the response from women and men – that it’s so rare to see something like this. We’re just not given the opportunity so much.

Quoting: Cast and Crew

Co-star Tracy Letts: She’s a character actress in the package of a leading lady, which means she’s really good. She isn’t constrained to just play herself, and it’s never been in greater evidence than in this film. The character she played is nothing like Rebecca. Nothing.

Critical Response

Guy Lodge, Variety: Christine is likeliest to be remembered as the film that finally made good on Rebecca Hall’s flinty, often under-challenged gifts. By turns shrilly frightening and blearily sucker-punched, her performance bears improbable comparison with Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning Black Swan turn as a study of self-disarrangement from the inside out, similarly motivated by myopic professional pressure. In characterizing a woman most viewers know for one act only, Hall lends specificity even to Chubbuck’s untreated hollows and voids; she’s made human enough that, as the film marches to its unavoidably wrenching conclusion, we irrationally hope — if only for a split-second — that she might not pull the trigger.

Noel Murray, The Playlist: As Chubbuck, Hall gives a performance that’s half impression, half possession. She speaks in a deep, monotone voice, and walks and moves gracelessly. Her Christine studies tape of herself, and thinks analytically about what might make her seem warmer and more human to the audience at home.

Eric Kohn, Indiewire: Hall conveys such astounding desperation that her performance easily outdoes anything she’s done before.

Stephanie Zacharek, Time: It’s tempting for a performer who’s playing an alienated, isolated person to just put up a wall of inscrutability. But Hall’s Christine draws us closer rather than pushing us away—this performance is a quiet, multidimensional marvel.

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times: Working the lower register of her voice and short-circuiting her natural spark, Hall pitches her performance at a level of extreme yet never over-the-top intensity. With her long, jet-black hair, her tall, thin frame and her abrupt, excitable physical gestures, she could at times be channeling a wraith in a Japanese horror movie, albeit one with a deeply human core.

Awards and Nominations

Below is a list of all accolades Rebecca has received for her role in the film.

WON: Chicago International Film Festival – Best Actress
WON: Women Film Critics Circle – Courage in Acting

NOMINATED: Chicago Film Critics Association Award – Best Actress
NOMINATED: Detroit Film Critics Society Award – Best Actress
NOMINATED: Houston Film Critics Society Award – Best Actress
NOMINATED: IndieWire’s Critic Poll – Best Actress
NOMINATED: London Film Critics’ Circle Award – British Actress of the Year
NOMINATED: Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award – Best Actress
NOMINATED: Toronto Film Critics Association Award – Best Actress
NOMINATED: Women Film Critics Circle Award – Best Actress
NOMINATED: Women Film Critics Circle Award – The Invisible Woman Award