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Movie Review – Chappaquiddick (2017)

Chappaquiddick, 2017.

Directed by John Curran

Starring Jason Clarke, Ed Helms, Kate Mara, Olivia Thirlby, Clancy Brown, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan, Andria Blackman, Sarah Elizabeth Mitchell, Taylor Nichols, John Fiore, and Lexie Roth.


Chappaquiddick depicts the events leading up to, and following, Ted Kennedy’s 1969 car accident that took the life of campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne.

Director John Curran along with screenwriters Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan render the contentious events in a procedural, clear-eyed way that largely sticks to the facts – for instance, the film chooses not to subscribe to theories that Mary Jo was pregnant or had an affair with Ted Kennedy prior to the crash.

The performances are uniformly strong. Jason Clarke may look closer to Abraham Lincoln than any Kennedy, but he captures Ted’s mannerisms, accent and insecurities with a layered portrayal that digs deeper than mimicry. Broadly, the film is a rendition of cowardice,
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