‘Chappaquiddick’ Trailer Dives into Ted Kennedy’s Notorious Scandal

     December 20, 2017

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Entertainment Studios has released the first Chappaquiddick trailer. The film is based on the true story of the Chappaquiddick incident where Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) was in a car accident with Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara), and the ensuing cover-up that created more questions than answers. The film dives into Kennedy wrestling with his desire to tell the truth and his need to uphold his family’s storied legacy and political ambitions.

I caught the film at TIFF and I was impressed at how director John Curran was able to weave a story that never sanitized or damned Kennedy, letting the story unfold to see both the despicable and understandable reactions to his predicament. Clarke is outstanding, able to wring both pathos and pity from the character while never absolving him of his behavior. The movie is a bit of a high-wire act, but one that’s largely successful, so I hope people check it out next year.

Check out the Chappaquiddick trailer below. The film opens April 6, 2018 and also stars Ed Helms, Olivia Thirlby, Jim Gaffigan, and Bruce Dern.

Here’s a synopsis for Chappaquiddick via TIFF:

The Kennedy dynasty had lost three heirs apparent by 1969, and Ted (Jason Clarke) was, at the time, the family’s last hope to carry their name and ambitions into the upper echelons of US politics. Kennedy patriarch Joe (Bruce Dern), however, always considered his youngest son a ne’er-do-well — and he never let Ted forget it. The party on Chappaquiddick reunited the “Boiler Room Girls” who had served on Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, among them Mary Jo (Kate Mara). Ted whisks Mary Jo away for a reckless moonlight drive that ends in tragedy. But the more profound malfeasance begins after the drowning — itself dramatized here in harrowing detail — when a battalion of spin doctors gets to work on covering up the incident, using the Apollo 11 moon landing as a distraction.

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