She is a character perfectly developed in the script with a complex psychology influenced by external and internal factors, with a fairly evident evolution and whose interpretation by Rebecca Hall is more than outstanding. I do not understand why she was not given greater recognition.
The psychology of the character is complex because throughout history we are presented and I always talking about what the movie shows us, a series of internal signs or symptoms that can denote a certain type of personality disorder such as:
- Insecurity and doubts caused by a defensive attitude and that is quite aggressive in her social interactions as well as little accessible.
- Impulsivity, (changes her mind at the last moment to mount the video in the first interview he had already ruled out; she goes out in the middle of the night to cover the news of the fire; she runs to Bob Nelson’s house to ask for the promotion).
- Low self-esteem (she does not accept compliments and detracts from importance).
- Emotional fragility ( she collapses at the slightest stimulation as when she thinks her mother is talking badly about her behind her back with the neighbor and after seeing her room seems more like a scared little girl who does not know how the world works).
- Obsession for silly things which are taken very seriously (she records herself to improve her gestures and to correct mistakes, makes a list of the things she must do, she self-demands a lot, «do it better»).
- She believes that people speak ill of her behind her back and that there is a kind of plot to not let her develop her work (delusions). – Their way of acting is quite extreme, radical and opposite, it changes from calm to anger easily; from joy to sadness; from the most ruthless aggression to the most childish vulnerability or she can with everything or she is blocked and she feels useless; or she does it well or if she does not do it badly, she has no objectivity which causes her great frustration and those depressive moments.
- She behaves absorbingly with his surroundings, especially with Jean and his mother.
- She has episodes of anxiety triggered by a kind of phobia with artificial flowers and even what she suffers like a psychotic outbreak when she argues with her boss and then with her mother, that internal struggle that she maintains with his demons (loneliness, frustration, fragility) and that´s aggravated by external triggers such as their health, professional and personal problems that are magnified by the fact of being a woman, a journalist in the early seventies and that possibly the mental disorder she suffered had not even been discovered in that time being confused with others like depression.
- The evolution of the character can be compared with the description made by the arms dealer when he tells her that carrying a weapon makes a difference and there are four states: white (no threats), yellow (you are aware of your surroundings); the orange (you are aware of your environment and the threats in it) and the red (you are aware of your environment, the threats and are able to act). Christine goes through all those states among the history. He tells her that most people live and die in white and yellow but carrying a gun takes you to the orange level and allows you to be prepared for red.
Interestingly when it is supposed that she is this way, just before the outcome, Christine seems to have undergone some kind of change and this is observed in a brief sequence in which she does two things that she had not done in the whole movie, she puts on makeup ( she has self-confidence, she has no longer doubts, she is no longer fragile, she does not run away anymore) and the watch is removed, it is the only time we see her do it, there are other moments in history when she goes out without a watch, but this is the first and only time we see her take it off (her time is up).
The film does not explicitly show clear signs of the existence of a suicide tendencie but rather taking advantage of that character’s aforementioned characteristic of his dichotomous way of thinking passes from the hope to desolation, from life to death practically automatically.
In real life, Cristine Chubbuck did give indications of his intentions when he confessed to a partner, although in a very macabre joking tone, eight days before hes death that he had bought a revolver with the intention of blowing his head live, the partner did not give importance to the comment although he was very surprised because although Christine had a rather special sense of humor, that comment was too much even for her. On the Saturday before his death she confessed to his brother Greg that she intended to commit suicide but did not know very well how to do it and a week before he had given Greg´s fiancée a family jewel that he greatly appreciated.
Rebecca Hall’s work is brilliant because it perfectly marks her body language, her gestures, her looks, her level of empathy, her characterization, the tone of her voice, etc. It allows her to somehow give life to the character so that with another interpretation it would not be so credible and would not so devastatingly internal hell and helplessness that she experiences throughout history.