Back in 2001, a woman and three children were found dead in various locations around the State of Oregon. Police quickly established the victims belonged to the Longo family. The only member of the deceased family not accounted for was father and husband, Christian Longo. The FBI launched a manhunt for the missing suspect and eventually tracked him down in Mexico.
Christian Longo had successfully avoided the authorities, for a time, using the alias ‘Michael Finkel'. The name of a disgraced former New York Times journalist. In 2002 the real Michael Finkel was fired when it was discovered he'd stretched the truth surrounding a story he filed for the world-renowned Newspaper.
When the former journalist discovers his identity was being used by Longo, he becomes intrigued by the case and the principle suspect. Jonah Hill plays the part of Michael Finkel who strikes up an unlikely friendship with the suspected murderer. In return for sharing insights into journalism with Longo, Finkel will get exclusive firsthand information about the case and possible redemption for his discredited career.
Franco and Hill have both appeared on screen together multiple times, but rarely in serious roles. The duo have a great rapport and that makes the scenes between them more convincing.
As the movie develops, the audience and Michael Finkel wrestle with the big question, did Christian Longo kill his family? You won't find out the real truth until the movies final scenes. The element of the unknown keeps this story engaging. Franco and Hill deliver convicting performances, considering the two actors usually work on comedies. The direction by first-timer Rupert Goold is steady, well-paced, and accurate to the story.
I'm not going to stretch the truth about ‘True Story'; it's no classic, but fans of the true-crime genre will enjoy this well-told story. Franco and Hill deliver surprisingly convincing performances. This is a shocking true story told with care and skill.