Parkland (2013)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB

USA, 2013.  Exclusive Media Group, The American Film Company, Playtone.  Screenplay by Peter Landesman, based on the book by .Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Released for the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and a more unimportant movie could not possibly have been made on the subject.  It covers the moments immediately following the shooting of the President, the horrific nightmare that occurred at the hospital when the staff did their best to save his life, and the lives of those affected in the days following. plays the resident doctor and the head trauma nurse who are in the room with the man when he is brought in for emergency surgery. stars as Abraham Zapruder, whose randomly captured home movie footage has become the central visual record of the event, , looking tired and unmotivated (and is strangely turning into Don Knotts), plays one of the FBI guys who procure the footage from the exasperated Zapruder, and a terribly weak is the secret security officer who goes into full soldier mode following the trauma.  The best subplot is that of , as always superb, playing Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother adjusting to life after being linked to the most notorious criminal of his era, with an outstanding as his batty mother, but it is truly amazing how unaffecting and flavourless the movie is.  It neither editorializes on the subject in order to provide some kind of provocative thesis with the aid of time to interpret the memory, nor is it a lean, taut Paul Greengrass-style thriller that avoids speculation and captivates with its recounting the moment-to-moment recreation of the events.  A fine cast is wasted in mostly throwaway cameos.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2013

Venice Film Festival:  In Competition


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