I have been blessed with the next five or so weeks away from work, which will give me time to do the things I otherwise wouldn't do. One of those things is my quest to have seen every movie that is in contention for a big Oscar before the Academy Awards at the end of February.
Today I saw BOBBY, which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Movie-Drama. It takes place in the 24 hours leading up to the assasination of Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968 just moments after he won the California Democrat primary (he actually died two days later). It focuses on the day in the life of several people who were there, within 50 feet of Kennedy as he was shot. You don't get to see Bobby except for news footage, but that was plenty for me. And I mean that in a very good way. For my generation, born several years after Kennedy was killed, Bobby is a forgotten historic figure. I can't say I'd ever heard him speak until today. And it was very powerful. In just a few clips, I felt like I came to deeply understand why so many Americans put so much hope in this man, who most likely would have supplanted Richard Nixon as the 37th President of the United States. A few shots and words from him from news footage was "plenty" because that's all it took for me to want to learn more about him.
The creative decision to focus on about a dozen people at the hotel seemed like a bad one for the first 90 minutes of the film. The ending, though, was incredibly powerful. And having spent 90 minutes getting to know all of these other characters made the impact of the shots that rang out through the hotel kitchen that much deeper. Sharon Stone won't get any big nominations for her role in the film, but she really carried it. I was blown away by her. And I certainly have to mention the cast, which is quite possibly the most prestigious cast assembled in years, including Harry Belafonte, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburn, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Stone, Elijah Wood and others.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A well-acted (except Kutcher), well-directed film that at times seems to want to be Crash. It is saved in the end. 7 out of 10.