Film Review: “Chappaquiddick” (2018)

“History usually has the final say on these things.”

Ted Kennedy is portrayed here by Jason Clarke as a man who fought against his better nature (and the moral whispers of Ed Helms) to appease a crippled father and escape the shadows of his dead, Great brothers. It’s a bit heavy-handed (like the whole movie), but there’s a scene where Ted is in his old bedroom flipping through the channels on his TV past coverage of the moon landing, past coverage of his car wreck/involuntary manslaughter, eventually landing on an episode of “Davey and Goliath.” He settles there and a sort of peace comes over him, as if this is where he belongs: in his room, watching cartoons and throwing a football in the air. Living a non-serious life. I can get behind more of these art-house leaning political films like this and the horror-tinged/more effective “Jackie” from a couple years ago. They lift the genre of political thriller above its station and give it some much-needed life.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I drove Oldsmobiles for ten years and I always saved my passengers from drowning when we drove into a lake. Ted was not only a cowardly snake but a bad Oldsmobile owner as well.”

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