CHAPPAQUIDDICK - A Review Twofer!
God giveth and God taketh away. In honor of the recent humanitarian effort which took place over a seemingly endless (for the residents) 44 hour time period on Martha's Vineyard, Yours truly looked into movies filmed on the enclave. Bingo! "Chappaquiddick," the 2017 expose on the life of in-bred Senator Ted Kennedy, filmed many of its locations in the land of warm duck compote and valet parking services. Jason Clarke, a personal fave and I mean that, plays the bloated, alcoholic (and those were just his teenage years) political lifer. Clarke is outstanding as the morally compromised blowhard. The film deals with, for the most part, the titular incident which catapulted Kennedy from "Oh he's the really stupid son of Joe Sr." to "Yah, ah'll vote fah to Ted. He brings home dah bacon!" As we know The Liberal Lion (er, Fat Cat) spent 46 years in the United States Senate lecturing your average citizen on the subjects of morality, fairness, and whiskey. Yes, I made that last one up. Won't rehash the terrible incident which resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. There are some excellent performances to identify in this John Curran directed keeper. Bruce Dern plays stroke-addled Joseph Kennedy Sr., the anti-Semitic scion of the Hyannis Port clan. He is outstanding, trundling around in his wheelchair and expectorating disgust at his offspring. Ted understands what his father is saying. It helps to be drunk at 10am. Kate Mara is the tragic Mary Jo. She is her usual just-this-side-of-sexy and there would be few men able to not offer this siren a "ride home." As we all know, MJK ends up taking a 12 hour bath after Ted drives his oversized auto into Poucha Pond. He courageously left the scene and spent the rest of the evening in his B&B, too grief-stricken to phone the police. The praiseworthy Clancy Brown is Robert McNamara who spends a lot of the film walking that political fine line between advising Ted to shut his mouth (except when martinis are passed around), and advising the silver spoon sycophant on avoiding, oh, I don't know, a MURDER charge? The film is a very good re-telling of the event, to this day a touchy subject . . . for Democrats. It's fair in the treatment of Ted, and, save for the ending where the soon-to-be Senator waxes about how he should remain in public life because he can do so many great things in Congress, "Chappaquiddick" flays the Kennedy for his actions the night of. HULU. Worth your time. A $2 rental on Prime Video.