7:00 PM, 25th August, 2018
In his best dramatic role since 2014’s Foxcatcher, Steve Carell stars as Larry ‘Doc’ Shepherd, a grieving father who takes his only son, a marine killed in the Iraq War, home for burial.
First he reconnects with two old friends, who served with him as marines in Vietnam 30 years ago, and asks them to accompany him on this road trip. One is now a respected reverend (Fishburne) and the other is an alcoholic (Cranston) who runs a pub with hardly any customers. As they embark on their journey, they share memories, rekindle their friendship, and discover life has been good to them in some ways and harsher in others.
In Last Flag Flying, writer-director Richard Linklater (Boyhood) explores serious issues such as love, family, loneliness and death with a light touch and a measured pace. Together with his terrifically cast trio of leads, Linklater shows us that some friendships stand the test of time and are worth preserving, even when all else may be lost.
9:15 PM, 25th August, 2018
On July 18 1969, Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy (Clarke) left a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, and drove an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his only passenger – 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne (Mara) – did not. Kennedy didn’t report the accident until 10 hours later.
Chappaquiddick is a tense, meticulous depiction of the events leading up to the accident and the following seven days. It provides an insider’s view of the workings of the powerful Kennedy family and the power of their connections. It’s a film about ambition and human frailty, the burden of familial expectations, and what it’s like when you’re sort-of-but-not-quite a Kennedy. Australian actor Jason Clarke’s understated portrayal of Kennedy is utterly convincing and he is supported by a fine ensemble cast.
Ted Kennedy went on to create a substantial legacy. He became known as “the lion of the Senate” for his ability to get bipartisan support for health and education reform. One of the great things about this film is that it reminds us that campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne also had a life. Intelligent, dedicated and loyal, who knows what kind of future she might have had?