Skip to comments.Hollywood Made a Great Movie About a Kennedy Tragedy
Posted on 03/30/2018 7:07:00 PM PDT by Kaslin
Conservatives’ expectations for honest and fair movies coming out of Hollywood are understandably low. For decades now we have been brow-beaten and lectured by clueless celebrities on everything from saving the Spotted Owl to gun control – the latest flavor of the moment.
But a breath of fresh air is blowing in from the left coast. The new movie ‘Chappaquiddick,’ from Entertainment Studios and Apex Entertainment, is a brutally honest recounting of one of America’s greatest public tragedies: the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in a car owned and driven by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Producer Mark Ciardi has a winner, and perhaps it’s his record of brilliantly telling true sports stories (Invincible, The Rookie,Miracle, and Secretariat) that so influenced a talented group of director and actors – liberals all – to buy into a straight-up, no spin or bias, telling of this story. As one might expect, longtime Ted Kennedy senior aide and speechwriter Bob Shrum, trashed the movie (likely without even seeing it) as “a disservice both to the victim and the truth.” On the contrary, the movie is a revelation of truth exposing the decades-long cover-up that Shrum, and other defenders of the Kennedy faith, have long perpetuated.
The Kennedy PR machine, aided and abetted for years by the mainstream media – and, yes, many celebrities in Hollywood –crumbles under the intellectual and historic force of this film. Likewise, we see Mary Jo Kopechne come to life, no longer just that one hopeful face in that one overused photograph.
Mary Jo was a 28-year old experienced Capitol Hill staffer and presidential campaign aide when she came to Chappaquiddick Island off Martha’s Vineyard in August 1969. She and other campaign workers, all women affectionately dubbed “the Boiler Room Girls,” had been invited by Senator Kennedy to the island for a reunion. They had faithfully served his older brother Bobby in his Senate office, and on his presidential campaign before his tragic death the year before.
It possibly was the first time the women had gathered since that fateful night at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, a haunting scene that will forever be fixed in America’s memory. One moment, Bobby Kennedy is thanking his supporters for his win that night in the California primary with Olympic Decathlon Champion Rafer Johnson and Rosey Grier of the Los Angeles Rams at his side. The next moment, chaos and anarchy as he lays there helpless and dying – and with him the dreams of Ms. Kopechne and countless others.
In the movie, both on the beach during the day and after they leave a party that night, Mary Jo (Kate Mara) discusses her future with Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke), who makes it very clear he wants her to come back to Washington and serve on his staff. He was the Senate Majority Whip at the time, a leadership position, and thinking seriously about running for president himself in 1972.
It's an attractive offer, but she demurs. The pain of Bobby’s death is still real and she doesn’t seem ready to plunge back into another run for the White House. Kennedy himself concedes he’s conflicted about running; the tragic deaths of all three of his older brothers, plus his family’s public legacy, weigh heavily on him.
The accident literally turns his life upside down. Mary Jo dies and Kennedy survives under circumstances still unknown to this day. His father, Joseph Kennedy, suffering from a stroke, gathers top advisers from President John F. Kennedy’s administration to help Ted through the maelstrom that ensues.
Their objectives – avoid accountability, protect the brand, and preserve political and professional viability – are so familiar to a 2018 America in the midst of scandals affecting an array of powerful men including Harvey Weinstein, Russell Simmons, Al Franken and others. Not to mention how our collective consciousness still vividly remembers the media and our liberal friends so adamantly defending Bill Clinton and dismissing his accusers.
Despite obstacles, the spin doctors prevail. Kennedy’s fixers literally “fix” the legal problems to where he only pleads guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and gets no jail time, not even probation. His live, televised speech to the people of Massachusetts brilliantly casts himself as a victim and exhorts his constituents to “think this through with me.” They wind up re-electing him again and again.
What ‘Chappaquiddick’ does is lay bare the Kennedys for who they really were. The Camelot myth-makers can’t cover this up any more.
And while we don’t say it often, credit must be given where credit is due: well done Hollywood. Thank you for telling this story openly, honestly, and compellingly.
I wouldn’t call it a Kennedy tragedy; it was a Mary Jo Kopechne tragedy.
Mary Jo’s tragedy, the Kennedy’s travesty.
Absent the (D), JFK would be trashed by today’s communist Left.
What a nice word for it.
...I wouldnt call it a Kennedy tragedy; it was a Mary Jo Kopechne tragedy....
I wouldnt call it a Kennedy tragedy; it was a Kennedy murder.
...but in 1965, managed to turn American life upside down as well...
More Kennedy road kill, anyway...
Chappaquiddick Island isn’t “off” Martha’s Vineyard——it IS Martha’s Vineyard and part of the town of Edgartown.
At the time, I already knew his brother had stolen the election from Nixon. This was my second lesson in DC corruption.
Kate Mara is typecast as a Washington intern who gets killed by an a hole (didnt Kevin Spacey push her into a moving subway on House of Cards?)
Haven’t yet seen the movie, but major kudos if this review is accurate.
I actually want to see this. This was one of my true crime obsessions for some time. Sounds like they did this right.
No, it was a tragedy for Mary Jo. She’s the victim and the movie should have been made about her, not that alcoholic womanizer.
I haven’t seen it either, but the preview they have shown on FNC is quite good. (That’s the only channel I watch)
And it only took a 1/2 century! I’m anxiously waiting for the 2057 release of the movie about the Clintons.
One of the things that helped Kennedy escape scrutiny is because this incident occurred during the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Lots of people were focused on that historic event big time, giving the media a good excuse to soft peddle Chappaquiddick.
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