Three Christs – Director, Jon Avnet


threechrists_01I confess I chose this movie largely to see Tyrion Lannister in a mental hospital. Well not entirely but that was certainly a factor. The story was intriguing however. The film is based on real events that happened at the Ypsilanti mental hospital in 1959. Treatment of frequently violent paranoid patients was limited to electroshock therapy, sedation and other somewhat horrific methods that were essentially intended to punish and control rather than treat. Gere plays a psychiatrist who wanted to take an alternative and innovative psychotherapy approach. He is resisted but has enough support to start his experimental method. The three men are brought together and the film documents their interactions and the effect they have on one another including Gere who begins to identify with them largely because he comes to respect them and befriend them. The cast is excellent and I totally forgot Tyrion in favour of Dinklage’s new character so a score for him to escape type casting as a dwarf from a mythical kingdom. Gere and the director were there (on a Friday at TIFF!!) to do a Q and A after the film. Gere was very eloquent and articulate about the film and its impact on him as an actor. Since the film was based on real events, the script worked with the actual recordings of the sessions held with the three Christs which added to its power. I found the film very moving in parts and it evoked some leaky eyes including my own. Worth a watch.