FILM REVIEW | Seberg – a biopic, not as good as it should’ve been

The FBI investigation of actress Jean Seberg is told in the new film Seberg.

Kristen Stewart, who plays Seberg, is fine in this film of Seberg’s life which was filled with glamour and controversy. Director

Benedict Andrews, who directs with little enthusiasm, and the writers focus on the years in Seberg’s life when she was being investigated for her ties to the Black Panther party in the 1960’s. This is told  through the fictional eyes of FBI investigator Jack Solomon (a very good Jack O’connell). Seberg, an American born in 1938, was most famous for her performance in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 film Breathless which immortalized her as an icon of French New Wave cinema, donated lots of money and time to the Black Panther Party. She also had an extramarital affair with Black activist Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie), which led to a baby being born prematurely, due, according to Seberg, the stress of the FBI investigation, and her rocky marriage to her husband Romain Gary (Yvan Attal).

Solomon, ever increasingly, gets more involved in the case, taking him away from his frustrated wife Linette (Margaret Qualley). Vincent Vaughan plays his partner, who knows not to get too close to the case. But we really don’t get to understand why Seberg wanted to support the Black Panthers. She was sympathetic and wanted them to have opportunities? And if so why?

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Seberg died at the age of 40 in Paris, with police ruling her death a probable suicide, after having disappeared for ten days. Her life was anything but boring, yet Seberg doesn’t quite get to the heart of who she was and why she was involved.

Her life was fascinating and glamorous, but her story needs to be told again.

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Seberg‘ opens today in UK cinemas.

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