Combustible Celluloid
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With: Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins, Bradley Whitford, Charlotte Hope, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Root, Jane Alexander, Julianna Margulies, James Monroe Iglehart
Written by: Eric Nazarian, Jon Avnet, based on a book by Milton Rokeach
Directed by: Jon Avnet
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing material, sexual content and brief drug use
Running Time: 117
Date: 01/10/2020

Three Christs (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Personal Jesuses

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a 1964 case study, Three Christs isn't the most dynamic idea for a movie; it mainly involves using fictitious letters as a form of psychological treatment, it has no real slam-bang conclusion, and it goes on too long to be really successful, but the setup at least allows for a bunch of fine actors to really chew the scenery during group therapy sessions. Richard Gere plays Dr. Stone, who doesn't believe in the electroshock therapy used at the time. When he is presented with three different patients who all believe that they are Jesus Christ, he comes up with an idea to put them together in their own private session, hoping that their confronting one another will lead to a breakthrough. They are Joseph (Peter Dinklage), Leon (Walton Goggins), and Clyde (Bradley Whitford), each with slightly different variations on their stories. Charlotte Hope has a tricky role as Becky, Dr. Stone's extremely pretty research assistant who sits in on the sessions, creating and enduring strong sexual tensions. Kevin Pollak, Stephen Root, Jane Alexander, Julianna Margulies, and James Monroe Iglehart co-star, some of whom provide the much-needed disbelief of Dr. Stone's methods in an attempt to ramp up the tension. The movie premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival and sat on the shelf for over two years before release. Director Jon Avnet is a longtime veteran who previously worked with both Gere and Whitford on Red Corner (1997).

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