Kate Plays Christine ★★★½

63/100

Can't say anything concrete about this until the premiere, but the reviews coming out of Sundance are gonna be very interesting. Imagine if "Southern Man" and "Sweet Home Alabama" had both first appeared on the same compilation album.

POST-PREMIERE: As I noted on Twitter from Sundance, this film and Antonio Campos' Christine inform each other so beautifully that I feel like a masterpiece could have been achieved had the two approaches been combined conceptually from the outset. As it stands, where Christine won me over in its last few minutes, Kate's bluntly didactic final scene sours what had previously been a thoroughly absorbing portrait of an actor's research process, with ethical concerns that were readily apparent but held mostly in check. Going all Funny Games at the end was unnecessary, and while I guess one could argue that it (like virtually everything else in the film) is performative, and thus not necessarily to be accepted at face value, there's a point at which that worldview becomes a black hole. As an actual documentary, though, I really dug this.