Tag: assassination


Jackie

March 17th, 2017 — 6:19am

Jackie – nf

Jackie of course is Jacqueline Kennedy. This movie tells the story through her eyes, how she reacted to the horrific assassination of JFK who died with his head in her lap after his skull and brain was shattered by Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullet. Natalie Portman seems to have captured the former First Lady’s breathless voice and her struggle with her grief. If you were alive and conscious of your surroundings in November 1963, you must remember following every detail of this historic event including the tv and radio coverage of the assassination, the President lying in state, the procession to the church service and the burial at Arlington Cemetery. This movie certainly succeeds in awakening these memories that many of us never bury beyond instant recall with any association to the event. Aside from Jackie, the other major character who was depicted is JFK’s brother, Robert Kennedy who is played by Peter Sarsgaard. Of course Lyndon Johnson and his wife and other familiar names and faces are there also. The movie was directed by Pablo Larraín and is interspersed with some documentary footage and an appropriate musical background by Mica Levi. The film really doesn’t go beyond this brief time period. We both did feel that something specific was left out of the movie. When we recalled the President lying in state, the image that would bring about tears to both of us was Little John John, the President’s , at most 4 year old son  saluting a flag-covered coffin. We missed that event in this film but we still hold on to it whenever we remember that sad day in November. (2016)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Documentary, Drama

The Conspirator

April 7th, 2011 — 7:25pm

*****

The Conspirator- sp You may think you know the story about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln but you don’t know Jack ! You probably most certainly don’t know the story of one of the so called conspirators Mary Surratt who ran the boarding house where John  Wilkes Booth met with his friends one of whom was her son. Producer Brian Falk is part of a new production company called the American Film Company, which has a mission to make films about American history. When he came across this 18 year old screenplay by James D. Solomon  about this story, the company decided it should be their debut movie. They took a chance and showed the script  to producer Bill Holderman who is a partner in Robert Redford’s company and the next thing they know they have Redford directing it and they were able to put  together an all star  cast. It then seems that they became obsessed about the authenticity and had a team of historians not only vet the script but were on speed dial for every detail of the film from the courtroom trial transcripts to the exact buttons on the soldier’s uniforms. The story starts off focusing on Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) a young wounded Union officer on the battlefield. It turns out that he is a lawyer in civilian life and shortly after he leaves the military he is being pressured by his senior law associate (Tom Wilkerson) to defend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright). The trial is being conducted by a military court ( think Guantanamo) with judge and jury being Union soldiers and an ace prosecutor Joseph Holt  (Danny Huston ) with Secretary of  War Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline) trying to call the shots from behind the scenes. Besides being a  fascinating piece of little known history, the film is beautifully photographed, with near perfect period costumes but yet it draws the viewer in and makes you feel that you are watching a very real life high stakes drama. Of course this is also a thinking person’s movie and you have to come away appreciating how the strength of our constitution gets tested from time to time and you wonder if it passed the test after Lincoln got shot as we sometimes wonder how it is doing today. Speaking of Lincoln, this movie opens April 15th on the day of his death. We highly recommend it as one of the best films we have seen this year.(2011)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, History

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