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#TIFF2017 Review: Three Christs


Directed by: Jon Avnet
Starring: Richard GerePeter DinklageWalton GogginsBradley WhitfordCharlotte HopeJulianna Margulies

Maria's Rating -4-01


Three Christs follows Dr. Alan Stone who is treating three paranoid schizophrenic patients at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, each of whom believed they were Jesus Christ. What transpires is both comic and deeply moving.

Three Christs focuses on three mentally ill patients who all believe that they are the second coming of Jesus. While this sounds like the premise of a comedy, Three Christs was so much more than that. While it did have its comedic moments, it also dealt with some serious topics, such as the health care system and the way that mentally ill patients were treated in the late 1950s. I was lucky enough to be able to catch this film earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival and I’m so glad that I did as it was a truly beautiful film.

What I Liked

The three christs. The characters themselves are one of the best aspects of this film. Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins and Bradley Whitford all worked wonderfully together as three patients that all believe they are the second coming of Jesus Christ. They all had their own sets of quirks that made them truly unique from one another, but also worked well in gelling the characters together. Add in Richard Gere as the new doctor in town that challenges the terrible, yet traditional, ways these patients are treated and you have a fantastic cast of characters portrayed by some seriously phenomenal actors.

The story. Going into this film, I had no idea that it was based on a true story. I had never heard of Ypsilanti hospital or about the story of these three men. It was really interesting to see how much the care of mentally ill patients has changed since the 1950s, but it was also shocking to see how they were treated not all that long ago.

What I Didn’t Like

A little dry. The story did feel a little dry at times. While it was well paced for the post part, it definitely had its slow moments.

Three Christs was one of the films that was at the top of my list of films to see at the Toronto International Film Festival this year and I’m very happy that I had the privilege of doing so! Three Christs has a terrific blend of comedy and drama that worked perfectly to tell the story of the Three Christs of Ypsilanti!

Thank you for reading!

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