I just finished watching this incredible film with my wife, and I think it is one of the best historical films I have ever seen.
Beautifully filmed, brilliantly cast, and expertly edited, it conveys the powerful narrative of what happened in Dallas 50 years ago tomorrow.
It is lightning paced, reflecting the frenetic chain of events that began on that terrible moment when the shots rang out in Dealey Plaza (a place I have visited many times). As the title indicates, much of the film is focused on what happened in the Trauma Center at Parkland hospital, where the
weekend surgical crew worked frantically to save President Kennedy - and then two days later found themselves striving with equal futility to save
his accused assassin. Paul Giamatti is absolutely believable as Abraham Zapruder, and Billy Bob Thornton turns in a very convincing performance as Forrest Sorrels, the head of the Dallas Office of the Secret Service. One of the most heartbreaking performances, even though she has very few lines, is that of Kat Steffens as Jacqueline Kennedy. Her grief was so well portrayed it brought me to tears.
The storyline focuses on the medical crew at Parkland, on the actions of Agent Sorrels and his men, as well as on FBI Agent James Hosty, who had been investigating Oswald shortly before the assassination. Particularly poignant is the storyline that follows the impact of that horrible day on Oswald's brother, Robert, as he tried to digest the fact that his kid brother had become, in a moment, the most hated man in America. Zapruder's story is also portrayed in a very believable and sympathetic way.
I have studied that terrible day in Dallas for most of my adult life, and have slowly gone from being a convinced conspiracy theorist to being relatively sure that Oswald was mainly, if not solely, responsible for Kennedy's death. But whichever view you take, this film is a powerful recreation of a terrible tragedy that effected our whole nation on that terrible day fifty years ago. This is a movie every American should see!
And South Africans, too, Trevor!