Bobby (2006)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 2006.  , , , . Screenplay by Emilio Estevez.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

It’s June 6, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, the entire building abuzz with anticipation as guests await the arrival of America’s possible next president, Robert Kennedy. Throughout the day, this highly engrossing ensemble piece follows the lives of various characters, including two retired employees (, ), a young woman () marrying a high school friend () to save him from service in Vietnam, a doctor () with emotional problems vacationing with his wife () and the local beauty parlour manager () who is married to the general manager of the hotel (), who is himself having an affair with one of the switchboard operators (Heather Graham).

Meanwhile, an alcoholic singer () is performing nightly in between some heavy bouts with her emotionally abused husband (writer-director , also Moore’s real-life ex-husband). By the end of the day, however, this variety of characters will be bound by one single event after being together and witnessing (in some cases to a very dangerous degree) the assassination of the man who gave Americans hope that the war in Vietnam would be ended.

Estevez outdoes himself with superb dialogue and some really rich characters, the performances of which make this film worth watching despite the fact that the plotting is too scattered and never finds any emotional anchor.

Stone is a particular highlight in a performance that is easily the film’s finest, while Moore does her best work in years and  and deliver some fine acting as exploited kitchen staff.

Other performances hit false notes, including very weak turns by and as Kennedy’s campaign managers, but overall the experience is a positive one. How Moore didn’t snap her neck holding up those giant punch-bowl hairpieces is enough to hold your fascination for two hours.

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Original Song (“Never Gonna Break My Faith”)

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Outstanding Motion Picture Cast

Toronto International Film Festival:  2006

Venice Film Festival:  In Competition

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