If you haven’t seen this movie yet, hurry and do so before it is gone.
It was originally supposed to be released in November, around the anniversary of the JFK assassination, but it was postponed. It got pushed and pushed until the opening April 6. The movie makers have suggested that there were forces behind the scenes trying to squash it.
Powerline blog had reviewed it over the weekend. The blogger reported a full house, plus a sold out crowd for the next performance. I didn’t encounter that, but going on a Monday matinee is not likely to find a sellout.
If you thought the movie would hide or soften what happened that July night in 1969, you would be wrong. Powerline called it “brutal” and I would agree that the brutal truth was revealed.
Ted Kennedy, revered as the “lion of the Senate” is seen as the “lyin’ in the Senate” in this movie. He lies about his role in the drowning of Mary Joe Kopechne, trying to say that she was driving. He lied to the police chief. He lied to his friends. A week after it happened, he’d completely moved on to save his own skin. His remorse was remarkably short lived.
Bruce Dern as head of the family Joe Kennedy barely said a word – Joe was suffering from a stroke – but he really deserves an Oscar. He looked the part and his eyes conveyed his disgust for his son’s failures and his frustration with him. Rose Kennedy was not included in the cast, which I found puzzling as in an early scene Ted is told to call his mother. She certainly was alive at that time.
The filmmakers did a terrific job of setting up the suspense leading up to the drowning. Even though you knew it was going to happen, you were caught up in it. They laid out the story in all its gruesomeness from the Friday night it happened, to the funeral of Mary Joe to the contrived statement Kennedy went on TV to make.
The team of lawyers old Joe assembled for his son, included Bob Macnamara and historian Ted Sorensen among others. They played out the event against the backdrop of the landing on the moon and used it to help deflect the incident. The sleaze oozes from the screen.
This is a movie every American should see. How this man went on to be the fourth longest serving Senator and even made another attempt at a presidential run, shows how manipulated Americans have been by politicians and the media.
Ted Kennedy went on to continue his bad actions with women, ruining his marriage to Joan who ended up a homeless alcoholic. He used women as waitress sandwiches with Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. He used his family’s tragedies to get a pass on all this.
When he died, Ted Kennedy was lauded as if he was something noble. This movie shows that image to be as phony as his pathetic excuses.
Go see it.