It’s a surprise that it’s taken so long to dramatize the events surrounding one of the most scandalous and mysterious chapters in the life of Senator Ted Kennedy. This is an event that happened nearly fifty years ago and yet it’s only now getting its cinematic treatment. Better late than never, I suppose. Still, one can only venture a guess as to why filmmaker Oliver Stone didn’t attempt this when his career was on fire in the nineties, but I digress. At any rate, director John Curran, working from a script by Andrew Logan and Taylor Allen have crafted a reasonably interesting look into the events that unfolded on that fateful night in July 1969.
The facts of the case that are known are that Kennedy, traveling with his late brother Bobby’s former staffer, Mary Jo Kopechne, drove his car off a bridge in the early morning hours after a night of imbibing too much alcohol. Kopechne died as a result and Kennedy didn’t report the accident until half a day had already come and gone. The film attempts to piece together what likely did happen. It unfolds in a fairly riveting fashion and will especially engage anyone who knows little to nothing of the story.
Jason Clarke’s turn as Ted Kennedy is as good as we’re likely to see but he’s also surrounded by other actors of the highest caliber including Clancy Brown, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern and Kate Mara as Kopechne. It’s an intriguing look at an event that literally changed the course of political history forever.
At press time, this movie is playing in Hickory, and all around the area.
Image: Jason Clarke & Bruce Dern in Chappaquiddick
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