Posted: 11/09/2011

 

Christina

(2011)

by Jef Burnham



Now available on DVD from Indican Pictures.


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Christina opens in the aftermath of World War II. Having survived the bombing of Berlin, a young German woman, the titular Christina, looks to the future as she prepares to leave for America with G.I. fiancé, Billy. But standing in her way is a determined police inspector who seeks to uncover the truth of her past.

Christina more closely resembles a play than a film. The film is set (with the exception of flashbacks) entirely in a single location, Christina’s apartment, and the entire cast features but three performers. Nicki Aycox (TNT’s Dark Blue, Cold Case, SuperNatural) stars as Christina with Jordan Belfi (Entourage, Surrogates, The Mentalist) as Billy and Stephen Lang (Terra Nova, Avatar, Public Enemies) as Inspector Reinhardt. Stephen Lang, who’s won no fewer than two awards for his performance in Christina is indeed the film’s strongest element. In fact, I felt watching the film that the narrative doesn’t even begin until Lang appears. The first third of the film, comprised exclusively of relationship-establishing interactions between Christina and Billy, simply drags. On stage, this sequence might have played. On film, Christina dully fails to provide conflict until well into the narrative.

Three-character/one-location films can be done well. I think 1997’s Two Girls and a Guy is a prime example, and Adam Green’s Frozen nearly fits that bill. But both these films establish major conflict early on. Waiting a half hour for Lang to show up and provide this drama with… well… some drama puts a significant damper on our investment in the proceedings.

Special features on the Indican Pictures release include interviews with Stephen Lang, Nicki Aycox, Jordan Belfi, and writer/director Larry Brand; the film’s theatrical trailer; and trailers for other Indican Pictures releases.

Christina won the following awards at festival:
Best Feature – Newport Beach Film Festival
Best Writing – Vision Fest NYC
Best Actor (Stephen Lang) – Vision Fest NYC
Best Actor (Stephen Lang) – Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
Best Actress (Nicki Aycox) – Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
Best Director – Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
Best Film – Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
Best Drama – Mumbai Film Festival

Learn more about Christina at ChristinaTheMovie.com

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.



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