Monday, August 26, 2013

Movie of the Week – JFK

This week’s movie: JFK (1991).

After the John F. Kennedy assassination, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers that there may be more to it than the official story of a lone gunman. Garrison believes that there were multiple shooters and the assassination plot may have been hatched and formulated in his own city.

Oliver Stone was one of the most prolific filmmakers in Hollywood during the 1980s and 1990s with films such as Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July, and Natural Born Killers. However, JFK is his masterpiece. Using a mixture of documentary, found, faux-documentary recreations, and new footage, Stone creates an utterly compelling case for a conspiracy. John Williams’s iconic score, Robert Richardson’s cinematography (winning an Oscar), and Victor Kempster’s production design are all top notch as well.

JFK features an ensemble of fantastic performances starting with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison. The supporting cast is wonderful and packed with great actors, including: Jay O. Sanders, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon, Vincent D’Onofrio, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Brian Doyle-Murray,  Michael Rooker, Laurie Metcalf, Joe Pesci, Wayne Knight, Walter Matthau, Tommy Lee Jones, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, John Larroquette, Ron Rifkin, and Frank Whaley.

Whether or not the whole JFK conspiracy theory holds any water or not is irrelevant to the brilliance of this film, both from an aesthetics and narrative standpoint. Aesthetically, this is a masterwork – and gravely underrated. Narratively, Stone all but convinces the viewer that the JFK assassination was indeed a conspiracy due to Stone’s powerful, moving, and compelling directing/editing choices. It is one of the 1990’s best films (and among my personal favorites).

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Streaming

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