Based on the real-life targeted campaign of intimidation by the FBI against the American actress Jean Seberg, this portrait of a woman pushed to breaking point coheres around a fine, friable performance from Kristen Stewart. Gamine-cropped and haunted of eye, she brings a nervy physicality to a role that might otherwise have been sunk by a rather prosaic screenplay. She’s endlessly fascinating to watch: her fingers flicker compulsively across her hair; her hands hide her face from her own gaze in the mirror.
Her support of various civil rights causes, including the Black Panthers, and her affair with black activist Hakim Jamal, made Seberg a person of interest for the bureau (given a human face and a conscience here by Jack O’Connell’s newbie surveillance officer). A star in Europe after appearing in Godard’s Breathless, she exuded an impulsive, unpredictable quality that chimed with the spirit of the French New Wave. And perhaps it’s that association, linking Seberg with rule-breaking, risk-taking film-making, that makes this drama, directed by Australian theatre director Benedict Andrews, seem slightly flat and uninteresting in its approach.
Source: The Guardian