Seberg

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Seberg
Seberg poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBenedict Andrews
Produced by
Written by
  • Joe Shrapnel
  • Anna Waterhouse
Starring
Music byJed Kurzel
CinematographyRachel Morrison
Edited byPamela Martin
Production
companies
  • Automatik Entertainment
  • Bradley Pilz Productions
  • Phreaker Films
  • Ingenious Media
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 30, 2019 (2019-08-30) (Venice)
  • December 13, 2019 (2019-12-13) (United States)
  • January 10, 2020 (2020-01-10) (United Kingdom)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
Countries
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million[2]
Box office$675,808[3][4]

Seberg is a 2019 political thriller film directed by Benedict Andrews, from a screenplay by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse based on the life of Jean Seberg. It stars Kristen Stewart, Jack O'Connell, Margaret Qualley, Zazie Beetz, Anthony Mackie and Vince Vaughn.

It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 30, 2019. It was released in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020, by Universal Pictures and in the United States on February 21, 2020, by Amazon Studios, after an awards-qualifying run on December 13, 2019.

Plot[edit]

Jean Seberg is a famous American actress known for playing the female lead in Jean-Luc Godard's film Breathless. She is in an open marriage with her husband, Romain Gary, with whom she is raising a child in Paris. She prepares to leave on a trip to Hollywood to promote her career there and parts lovingly with her husband. On the jet flight in first class, she witnesses a black activist causing a scene, insisting on sitting wherever he wants on the plane plus preferential treatment for Malcolm X's widow, claiming she should be treated like "royalty"; Seberg appears to be attracted to the passenger, who introduces himself as Hakim Jamal, a member of the Black Panthers and with whom she later starts a sexual relationship.

Upon arrival in the U.S., Seberg notices that the Black activists at the airport begin a small protest there to indicate their displeasure with the treatment which Jamal and his traveling companions have received on their flight. suggesting the entire incident was staged for publicity and to embarrass the airline. Seberg joins the protesters and raises her fist in a black power salute in solidarity. Unbeknownst to her, the FBI are undercover at the airport and photograph her with the activists. The photograph is then processed and the FBI decides that they will shadow her activities while she is in the U.S. and arrange to have her phone conversations taped.

Seberg confronts Jamal to let him know she knows the incident on the plane was staged to get her attention. Seberg's friendship with Jamal soon grows into a sexual relationship, even though Jamal is also married. The FBI's surveillance program COINTELPRO begins to target Seberg, including recording her and Jamal having sex and showing it to Jamal's wife Dorothy, who attacks Seberg physically. Jamal leaves Seberg after Dorothy confronts him, leaving Seberg devastated.

The FBI continues its surveillance and harassment of Seberg for years, and the bad press it generates ruins her career. In 1970, her daughter dies in infancy, and COINTELPRO agents create a rumor that the baby was fathered by a member of the Black Panther Party. The combination of her daughter's death and the FBI's smear campaign about the child's paternity send her into a deep depression. Finally, in 1979, her career and personal life in shambles, she commits suicide.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In March 2018, it was announced Kristen Stewart, Jack O'Connell, Anthony Mackie, Margaret Qualley and Colm Meaney had joined the cast of the film, then titled Against All Enemies. Benedict Andrews will direct the film from a screenplay by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse. Fred Berger, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Kate Garwood, Stephen Hopkins, Bradley Pilz, will produce the film under their Automatik and Bradley Pilz Productions banners, respectively.[5] In April 2018, Zazie Beetz joined the cast of the film.[6] In May 2018, Vince Vaughn, Yvan Attal and Stephen Root joined the cast of the film.[7] In June 2018, Cornelius Smith Jr. and Jade Pettyjohn joined the cast of the film.[8] In July 2018, Ser'Darius Blain joined the cast of the film.[9]

Filming[edit]

Principal production started June 2018 in Los Angeles.[10] Production concluded on August 2, 2018.[11]

Release[edit]

Amazon Studios acquired distribution rights to Against All Enemies in February 2019.[12] The film was retitled Seberg, and had its world premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival on August 30, 2019.[13][14] Universal Pictures distributed the film in all territories outside of America.[15] It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2019.[16] The film was released in the United States on December 13, 2019, in an Oscar qualifying run, before being released on February 21, 2020.[17][18] and in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 35% based on 130 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Seberg's frustratingly superficial treatment of a fascinating true story does a disservice to its subject—and Kristen Stewart's performance in the central role."[20] On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[21]

Time's annual best performances of the year list by Stephanie Zacharek listed Stewart as the tenth best performance of 2019.[22]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Alliance of Women Film Journalists 2020 Actress Most in Need of a New Agent Kristen Stewart Nominated
Camerimage November 16, 2019 Best Directorial Debut Benedict Andrews Nominated
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2020 City of Donostia Audience Award Benedict Andrews Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biannele Cinema 2019 - Seberg". Venice Film Festival. 2019-07-19. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  2. ^ Film and Television Tax Credit Program Program 2.0 (PDF) (Report). California Film Commission. July 29, 2019. p. 1. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  3. ^ "Seberg (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "Seberg (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (March 14, 2018). "Kristen Stewart To Play Icon Jean Seberg In Political Thriller 'Against All Enemies'; Jack O'Connell, Anthony Mackie Also Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 2, 2018). "Zazie Beetz Eyes Jean Seberg Film 'Against All Enemies' Starring Kristen Stewart (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 9, 2018). "Vince Vaughn & More Join Kristen Stewart In Jean Seberg Thriller 'Against All Enemies' – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  8. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (June 19, 2018). "'Scandal' Alum Cornelius Smith Jr. Cast In 'Against All Enemies'". Deadline Hollywood.
  9. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 25, 2018). "Ser'Darius Blain Cast In 'Against All Enemies'; Chris O'Shea Joins 'Modern Persuasion'; Carlos Leal In 'The Last Thing He Wanted'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Against All Enemies". Production Weekly. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Morrison, Rachel (August 2, 2018). "That's a wrap on #againstallenemies. So much gratitude to my incredible camera crew featuring one and only @englishsly and @moneypennyyyyy and a bunch of other cats who are too cool for IG. 🤞we made something we all can be proud of..." Instagram. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 8, 2019). "Berlin: Amazon Nabs Kristen Stewart as Jean Seberg in Thriller 'Against All Enemies' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Anderson, Ariston (July 25, 2019). "Venice Film Festival Unveils Lineup (Updating Live)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  14. ^ Sharf, Zack (July 25, 2019). "'Seberg' First Look Unveils Kristen Stewart as 'Breathless' Actress and French New Wave Icon Jean Seberg". IndieWire. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Universal buys select international territories on Kristen Stewart Venice title 'Seberg' (exclusive)". Screen International. August 7, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  16. ^ Vlessing, Etan (August 13, 2019). "'The Aeronauts,' 'Burnt Orange Heresy' Added to Toronto Film Fest Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 12, 2019). "Kristen Stewart Pic 'Seberg' To Roll Out In February Following Oscar Qualifying Run". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 26, 2019). "Kristen Stewart Amazon Studios Pic 'Seberg' Stakes Release Date In Awards Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  19. ^ "Seberg". Launching Films. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Seberg (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  21. ^ "Seberg Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  22. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (November 26, 2019). "The 10 Best Movie Performances of 2019". Time. Retrieved November 28, 2019.

External links[edit]