Bobby

"Bad"

Bobby Review


Filmmakers go overboard all the time, but none more than Oliver Stone. When Stone released JFK in 1991, it was obvious that he was pulling from a biased idealism, but he wasn't necessarily fibbing either. The cumulative effect of Stone's film was investigative fervor; even if you didn't believe the bulk of what was being given, you had to be shocked by a few of his points. The film was about looking back, but it was also about the hushed panic of the Kennedy assassination and the rest of the '60s. So, maybe going overboard was important to what Stone was after.

You won't find any sort of rabblerousing or sense of time in Emilio Estevez's Bobby, his account of the people that were in attendance when Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel. Estevez tosses together close to two dozen major characters and storylines along with footage of RFK campaigning against racism, America's poverty, and unlawful McCarthy tactics. The stories run the gamut from a young couple (Elijah Wood and Lindsay Lohan) getting hitched to keep the groom out of the war to an alcoholic diva (Demi Moore) and her forgotten husband (Estevez himself) to a philandering hotel manager (William H. Macy) who must keep his affair with a switchboard operator (Heather Graham) from his wife (Sharon Stone) and from an infuriated ex-employee (Christian Slater). There's also a pack of poll campaigners (Nick Cannon, Joshua Jackson, Shia LaBeouf, and Brian Geraghty) who must deal with an acid freak out facilitated by a hippie (Ashton Kutcher), a pushy Czech journalist (Svetlana Metkina), and a flirty waitress at the hotel restaurant (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Sounds like the makings of an ensemble comedy, no?

Estevez's lofty ambitions stride to use the Ambassador and its guests as a mirror to the culturally diverse and often volatile problems of the time period. The Red Scare, Vietnam, racism, and plenty of social diseases are served up in a seemingly never-ending string of self-important dialogues and monologues. Laurence Fishburne uses his freshly baked berry cobbler to describe racism while Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt, in the film's oddest and most disposable pairing, reconcile a hollow marriage after Hunt simply asks what first lady she looks like.

Bobby has so many storylines that it becomes near impossible to give a flip about any particular one. Lohan and Wood's marriage of convenience blooms into a marriage of passion without a hint of struggle or forethought and the way that Moore attempts to build empathy is shockingly vacuous.

If it was Estevez's charge to make the hotel a microcosm of the world, there's a severe lack of atmosphere in the way he shoots the infamous auberge. There's no use of space to convey the stature of the hotel, which becomes integral to Anthony Hopkins' ramblings as a retired employee of the Ambassador. If the film has a heart, it lies in Freddy Rodriguez's lowly busboy who struggles to watch or listen to Don Drysdale's 55th scoreless inning, which occurred the same day as the RFK shooting. Estevez blithely strives for integrity by playing Kennedy's harrowing "Menace of Mindless Violence" speech that he gave in Cleveland six months prior to his assassination over the ravaged, tearful faces of the cast as an ambulance takes Kennedy away. It's too little, too late and registers false when compared to what Kennedy was actually talking about in the speech. Talk about going overboard.

You're all movie stars. All of you.



Bobby

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Thursday 23rd November 2006

Box Office USA: $11.1M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Co.

Production compaines: The Weinstein Company, Bold Films, Holly Wiersma Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 78 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Edward Bass, , Michel Litvak

Starring: as Nelson, as Patricia, as Dwayne, as Tim Fallon, as Edward Robinson, as Angela, as John Casey, as Samantha Stevens, as Fisher, as Cooper, as Diane, William H. Macy as Paul Ebbers, as Virginia Fallon, as Jack Stevens, as Daryl Timmons, as Miriam Ebbers, as William Avary, as Susan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.