Sundance: Kristen Stewart’s ‘Camp X-Ray’ Premieres to Mixed Reactions

Kristen Stewart's 'Camp X-Ray' Draws Mixed

Guantanamo Bay drama playing in U.S. Dramatic Competition at film festival

Kristen Stewart’s new Guantanamo Bay drama “Camp X-Ray” drew mixed reactions following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday.

Some audience members outside the Eccles theater “loved” the fictional war drama, starring the “Twilight” actress, while other criticized the film for being “too slow.”

The film, playing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the festival, takes place in the infamous U.S. prison camp Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and follows a young military guard (Stewart) who begins to question the facility’s abusive treatment of its detainees after she forms a bond with one of the Islamic prisoners.

During his introduction to the film, writer/director Peter Settler said he wanted to focus on humanity, not politics, while making “Camp X-Ray,” which opens with footage from the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York.

“We wanted to make a movie that is not propaganda,” the writer/director told the audience.

Stewart, on hand for a post-screening Q&A, said she spent hours watching GITMO documentaries and was even trained by a “really awesome marine named JB who…whipped me into shape.”

“She had aspects that I am and really felt,” the actress said of her character in the movie. “My prep was figuring out who she was.”

Insiders at the festival suggested to Variety that the film would likely sell to a small distributor for limited theatrical/VOD release.

“Camp X-Ray,” co-starring Payman Moaadi and Lane Garrison, was exec produced by David Gordon Green.

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  1. dinz says:

    thanks @Lulu for your comment

  2. Donna says:

    To all K haters why dont you suppor your drugies idol…you know who is he!!! Hahahahaha

  3. Faye says:

    Although the movie has been drawing mixed reactions, her performance is being nearly universally lauded and praised, along with her costar’s. She has several intriguing projects coming up. I am very much looking forward to seeing these post-Twilight films.

  4. Judy Bridewater says:

    Pamela I agree with you in the sense that in several film roles what seemed to be missing in Kristen’s perfirmances is arc on the lighter, comical, joyful side human emotions that create a complete character. She has a solid grasp of one side of the pendulum, but not the other side is often unattended to. For example in Adventureland the last scene where both she and Jesse Eisenberg were disrobing and I thought – perfect – show your vunerability perhaps smile? Or in the Welcome to the Rileys – there were moments to show the other side – what I’m getting at – when for a regular audience member she doesn’t seem believable. I want to see someone who not only frowns but cries smiles life’s but most importantly makes me forget who I’m watching and moves me.

  5. the last time she made a movie she didn’t suck in was “speak”–maybe because the role she was playing (adolescent who stopped talking after she was raped) didn’t require her to say anything; just to look like she’s been traumatized. Not a difficult part for since she always has the same rather traumatized expression anyway….

    • Michel Olivier says:

      Pamela, all KS “haters” seem to have an agenda.
      I emphatically disagree with your observation.
      She’s been outstanding in every role she been in.
      p.s. stop trolling for KS , it just makes you appear bitter and spiteful.

      • lulu says:

        Kristen was nominated for an Ensemble SAG award for Into the Wild and won Best Actress for Welcome to the Riley’s at the Milan Film Festival. She’s also won other awards (not talking about those MTV ones or People’s Choice types). Maybe you should take a look at the awards and nominations under her IMDb before you get online talking about her acting.

        Kristen’s acting has been praised by such actors a Sean Penn, James Gandolfini, Bruce Dern, Jodie Foster and others. You cannot tell me that these people don’t know acting when they see it.

        So when people get online in comment sections or movie critics that write up a review about a movie she’s in and all you read about is “Twilight this and Twilight that,” these people all have negative agendas which do not equate with reality.

        If you really look at the films she’s been in, you would be surprised all of the great actors Kristen has work with. Also note that there are no actors who have ever said that they would not work with her. You don’t get a man like Robert Redford to come to watch a film of yours in Sundance if he thinks you suck. You just don’t.

        I’m glad Twilight is over so everyone can see what we all know about Kristen is that she’s a great actress. Not average. Not so-so, she’s really good. She can be n a scene with Robert DeNiro to Gandolfini and stand toe to toe.

        I read in a pre-review of Camp X-Ray from one of her harshest critics saying that her co-star Moaadi was going to steal the movie from her and it turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth. The only two negative reviews came from Josh Dickey of The Wrap and Indiewire who both have never had a positive thing to say about Kristen’s work. They’re stuck on ‘Twilight.’ Indiewire’s the worst. For example, when On the Road played at Cannes, their reviewer spent the entire review writing about how he hated Twilight. It was hilarious. Also, they tried to make On the Road her film and she was in it for only if 15 mins of screen time. The story was about the guy. It’s just when she came onscreen, her presence was felt plus it didn’t hurt re: marketing the film.

        This is an example of not looking at the performance but writing about their prejudices of Twilight. It’s stupid.

        Every review or person who has seen Camp X-Ray (with the exception of the two above) have not said anything negative about Kristen’s performance. As a matter of fact, they said it’s her best performance they’ve ever seen. She was great.

        To have a standing ovation and people in tears at the end of the film just goes to show you that it was received extremely well. One person even tweeted that he didn’t understand what the big deal was regarding the length of the film. He called people “idiots” for thinking the film was too long. He totally disagreed.

        If anything, the only negatives I’ve read had nothing to do with Kristen (except the two) it had more to do with the length of the film and a couple issues with the story. Neither had anything to do with her performance.

        However, as for the negative comments regarding her acting in this film which no one on the board has seen yet, it just nuts. When Collider and Hitfix write that her performance impressed them, that’s huge. These men are no huge fans of Kristen.

        So everything points to a wonderful performance by Kristen. Maybe, the director will take another look at maybe re-editing a couple things in the film but from what I’ve read, it’s a matter of taste.

        Kristen does not act to get any awards. She doesn’t have her PR person trying to build some fake image in order for someone to like her enough to give her an Oscar nomination. She’s an introvert. She’s private. She just loves to act. That’s it. She didn’t even have a film on screen last year because she didn’t find anything she wanted to be in. She can’t even sit next to her co-stars and listen to them praise her.

        This is a humble actress. She’s an actor’s actor. She’s not trying to be anything she’s not. As a fan, I believe she will get her recognition because she’s too good not to. And everyone who’s stuck on Twilight, get a life.

      • Caree says:

        KS is okay in all her role but not outstanding otherwise she will be noticed by now among award giving body. There is no scene in all her movies that leaves a memorable impact that she really has a chance to do more than good in the future of her acting career. She is like a female version of BPitt/TCruz not by popularity but their acting powers. Even the way she dubbed her own voice in her movies is boring, little emotions most of time flat.

      • Michel Olivier says:

        gabii, sorry to burst your bubble, but KS is already a tremendous actress.
        and that comes from the mouth’s of well respected actors, not jealous trolls with an ax to grind.

      • gabii says:

        Ms. Stewart will never be a great actress, she is one dimensional and that’s not appealing.

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