Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 06/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a quantam leap for Mark Rappaport from the execrable Rock Hudson's Home Movies. I particularly liked the parallels he makes between Jean, and Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave as political activists. Mary Beth Hurt is an actress I haven't seen enough of so I relished her role here. I remember seeing a documentary about the mystery surrounding Jean's death which included footage I was anticipating, however it's absence is a quibble."
Interesting for Seberg Buffs
Scott Coblio | West Hollywood, CA United States | 07/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This studied and sophomoric film comes to life only when it cuts from drastically-miscast Mary Beth Hurt as dead Jean Seberg (narrating from beyond the grave) to excerpts from Jean's movies. If Rappaport couldn't find an actress that evoked Jean's presence, he would have done better to dispense with the narration bit entirely and just make a straight doc instead.
Rappaport's effort is not done any favors by having been shot on videotape instead of film, which gives it a hard, unattractive look while further amplifying its amateurishness. In addition, "Journals" seems confused as to who its subject is. In spite of the title, which would lead one to expect a study of Jean Seberg's life and/or career, there are a number of tangential segments which go on far too long that attempt, awkwardly, to draw parallels to other actress/activists like Jane Fonda & Vanessa Redgrave. Might have been interesting--but do we need to stay on shots from "Klute" for 5 minutes, or on freeze frames for 30 seconds? Do we need to see clips from every actress who ever played Joan of Arc in order to understand Jean's portrayal of the character? It reeks of filler, perhaps from an attempt to round out the running time to a feature length, but Rappaport doesn't have meat and potatoes enough for anything more than a short.
Still, I give it three stars because some of it works, and the movie excerpts are rare and from titles not available on VHS or DVD and hence, can be seen nowhere else (Birds of Peru, The Wild Duck, etc). But in light of its limitations, and considering the price that this is being offered for on DVD, I'd stick with an inexpensive VHS copy and save the big bucks for Jean's films when they appear."