Movie: Bobby

Bobby: set in the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles on the 5th June 1968 in the final hours of Robert F. Kennedy’s life. The film is a fictional account portraying 24 characters in the hotel that day. The characters and stories represent the relationships between men and women, races and social divisions all of which were going through massive changes at that time in American history – the increased political activism, opposition to the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, and assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr only 2 months before this event.

With such a massive cast of characters to get to know and care about so many big stars and a couple of poor reviews I’d come across, I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. But, I found it engaging, educational and very moving.

The ‘get around’ for having lost of characters is that by using “stereotypes” the writer/director (Emilio Estevez) doesn’t have to give us a back-story to each person. So, when we are presented with a black man involved in the presidential race and we as the viewer associate issues of oppression, civil rights, hope for change, etc. and all of this is reinforced with inter cut archive news footage linked with the Presidential campaign.

The cast and characters are fantastic – no spoilers, but watch out for the scene where Virginia Fallon (Demi Moore) is with the beautician (Sharon Stone), wonderfully shot with sharp focus throwing the reflections out of focus, gentle dialog and well acted. However, even though there are a lot of top class actors (the title sequence is full of ‘Academy Award Wining’ so and so) for me Anthony Hopkins stole the show. His delivery of every line in each scene was so natural it made everyone else look like actors. The pauses and subtle vocal changes were fantastic.

Bobby - movie poster

Anthony Hopkins

I thought this was a very moving and thoughtfully brought together movie. It isn’t a story, so much as following the transition of these characters lives as they are affected by the hope and excitement around Bobby Kennedy and, ultimately (and wonderfully edited) the assassination.

Edward Robinson: Let’s send the brown man back across the border.
Miguel: We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.

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