Didn't serve too well for me, probably because it didn't belong to one of my favorite genres, AND also because most of the created events were "being there, seen it all" types (have seen those type of events in other movies & this movie neither offered anything new nor was its execution unique).
Okay, there?s no actor which, we think, adds to this spectacular film. We also have to admit that, of course, Bobby Kennedy's life was cut short before he had a chance to reach The Oval Office. But what the hey! A great cast of actors surround actual clips of Bobby?s speeches and appearances a short time before his death here.
President Speak: "I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives."
It's early June in 1968, and the California presidential primary elections are occupying the minds of many in the Golden State, with Robert F. Kennedy in a close race against Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey. The Kennedy campaign staff has set up camp at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, while the staff and guests become observers as the brother of fallen president John F. Kennedy sets out to pick up where his sibling left off. Paul (William H. Macy) is the manager of the Ambassador, and his wife Miriam (Sharon Stone) is a hairdresser who runs's the hotel's beauty salon. Angela (Heather Graham) is a receptionist working the hotel's switchboard who has been sleeping with Paul behind Miriam's back. Timmons (Christian Slater) is in charge of the hotel's restaurant and catering department, and makes no secret of his dislike of the African-Americans and Latinos under his employ. Miguel (Jacob Vargas) and Jose (Freddy Rodriguez) are two young Chicanos on the kitchen staff who have it in for Timmons, while Robinson (Laurence Fishburne) is an older black man who counsels them on dealing with their rage. Virginia Fallon (Demi Moore) sings in the hotel's cocktail lounge and has a serious problem with alcohol; her husband Tim (Emilio Estevez) is a Kennedy supporter and also her manager, and he's nearing the end of his rope in dealing with her problem. William (Elijah Wood) is a young man desperate to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam; Diane (Lindsay Lohan) is a pretty young woman dating William's brother who agrees to marry him so William can avoid being drafted, though William is clearly infatuated with her while she considers this a marriage in name only. John Casey (Anthony Hopkins) is one of the owners of the Ambassador, and Nelson (Harry Belafonte) is an old friend who works at the hotel. And Jack (Martin Sheen) is a wealthy Kennedy campaign financier who is married to Samantha (Helen Hunt), an attractive but much younger woman.
The idea of engaging viewers with the a variety of characters whilst maintaining the fundamental principles of Bobby Kennedy was ingenious. I found the film very refreshing as it kindly skipped the one million conspiracy theories of 'Who killed Bobby Kennedy?' However, it is clear that he probably would have won the election and paired with the extremely vagueness the assassin's words said to him before he fired the shot, implied that someone didn't want him in office. The major characters include a couple marrying to avoid being sent to Vietnam, an alcoholic performer/singer with a very unappreciated husband, a hairdresser with an unfaithful husband, a kitchen manager with a cynical interpretation of life and two young men who enjoy avoiding responsibility. The minor characters like the kitchen staff, receptionists, the drug dealer, the retired man with Alzheimer's and the waitress aspiring to be an actor are as interesting as the main characters. The film dealt with emotions encountered with betrayal, love and humanity. Therefore, the scene with the most impact showed how people of all races, class and religions grieved at the shooting and death of Bobby Kennedy, a betrayal of humanity. Although, the film left me with a feeling of hope despite this occurrence. Altogether, good direction, great plot and good dialogue. Emilio Estevez pleasantly surprised me with this piece! It was well done.
Still, that really is digressing from the movie itself, though that IS the message; and needs to be underlined.
I truly enjoyed this film and was shaken by the chaos of the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and was compelled to feel the loss and sense of emptiness that all those involved felt. That was the film's true intention and it delivered in spades.
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Elijah Wood, Heather Graham, Joshua Jackson, Laurence Fishburne, Lindsay Lohan, Nick Cannon, Sharon Stone, Shia LeBeouf, William H Macy.
I really wanted to like this film, I think that Emilio Estevez had great intentions and he showed a lot of potential, but aside from the final 20 minutes of the film, the film is undeveloped.
Now I am not one of those people who will turn around and say "OMG like it was like sooooooo boring", yes it did move at a slow pace, it wasn't always engaging, but I was never bored. Most of the film is fiction, with a majority of the 22 characters being added to the film, but I felt that that was one of the problems. We only get brief looks at these characters, there were some pairs that were written reasonably well (John Casey and Nelsons section mainly) but others we never really get much insight into and a majority of them don't really mix in with the message trying to be put across, aside from problems they have in life. The acting ensemble is amazing, a huge cast of known faces with the majority of them giving great performances, especially from Shia Labeouf and a major surprise from Nick Cannon. Emilio Estevez certainly did a great job with the direction, piecing together his work with old film reels of RFK quite well and he packs an amazing emotional punch in the final 20 minutes, which is helped alot by RFK's actual words (which isn't necessarily a good thing on Emilio's part as that speech is the best written part in the entire film).
Overall I feel that Emilio Estevez had the right intentions and his heart was in the right place, he does do quite well with his direction and the cast is great, but the many pointless sub-plots and some undeveloped characters, it lacked greatness.
As you learn the stories of all the people surrounding this incident, whether they were directly involved or not it just gives us a general idea of the time period and what Bobby's efforts were. How they were met, what different people were struggling with at the time when they knew that Bobby showed up at the right time to do the right thing.
Each person faces triumphs and struggles, painting us the image that it doesn't matter what era we are born in we all face similar dilemmas in today's society.
An amazing cast that makes up these regular American citizens that become part of history. We see each character through the eyes of themselves, their friends, their family and it gives a multi-faceted view of things.
This was a riveting and interesting story to watch unfold, and it just suits it wonderfully how Robert F. Kennedy's speeches are interspersed throughout the film as a reminder and then to give it the full effect.
All in all this a film I would recommend to anyone. Simply outstanding.