Cinema Verite is a movie based on events that really happened in the 70s. I think it’s safe to assume everything in the movie actually occurred but I would say it is still somewhat fictionalized.
In the movie, Cinema Verite, we have a pseudo behind-the-scenes look at the creation, filming, and general turmoil behind the 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. The original show is largely credited as starting what we know as ‘reality television’. The cameras follow around a normal sort of family and all the regular drama that goes along with life.
I have never seen the original series and I still enjoyed watching Cinema Verite. After I was done watching I scoured the Internet to find out more and get information about who the family members and crew were. This is kind of the downside of the movie; If you go in knowing nothing there are still lots of gaps when the credits start rolling. If you go in knowing everything about the show I’m not sure if you would really get much out of it.
The performances are all solid and I especially like watching James Gandolfini on the screen. Since Cinema Verite is an HBO original movie, I would suggest trying to catch it on the air if you are an HBO subscriber. While I was watching it I was fully committed to it but I was left wanting more, and not in a good way.
I give it 3 bearded Gandolfinis out of 5.