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Chappaquiddick

The untold true story

In July 1969, while the first men were about to land on the moon, Senator Ted Kennedy, the last, youngest and not necessarily the best of the four Kennedy brothers, was busy driving a car into a pond where his female passenger (Mary Jo Kopechne) was left to drown.

That’s the start of John Curran’s Chappaquiddick, a lucid, nuanced and compelling telling of the accident and its turbulent aftermath. Interspersed with the unflattering story of presidential aspirant Kennedy scrambling and scheming to save his political career is the newsreel drama of the lunar landing, which happened the same week. Presented as a posthumous JFK accomplishment, the space-race success towers over Ted’s lesser profile.

Jason Clarke is excellent as the complicated Kennedy, an unsure, insecure and not entirely decent man daunted by his brothers’ shadows and eager to earn a father’s respect that is not forthcoming. The supporting cast is top-notch, particularly Kate Mara, who portrays the doomed Kennedy loyalist Kopechne with a warm humanity. She deserves a bigger role; history unfairly casts her in a supporting role in the story of her own death, as does this slyly poignant movie.

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

Courtesy: Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

 

Showtimes: 

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Directed by: 
John Curran
Running Time: 
106
Country(ies): 
U.S.A.
Year: 
2018
Language: 
English
Starring: 
Kate Mara, Bruce Dern, Clancy Brown, Olivia Thirlby, Ed Helms
Official site: 
Link
Screenplay by: 
Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan
Rated: 
PG

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