Bobby

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/10/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 120 mins

Opens London Film Festival: October 26th

Brilliantly directed, superbly written and beautifully acted drama with an ensemble cast that would make even Robert Altman jealous.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, Bobby is a multi-character drama that takes place in the Ambassador Hotel on the eve of Senator Robert Kennedy's assassination. The ballroom of the hotel is due to be used as Kennedy's venue for a press conference following that day's California Primary and the film follows 22 different characters (including hotel staff, campaign workers and hotel guests) as they prepare for the big night.

The astonishing cast includes Anthony Hopkins (as the Ambassador's retired doorman), William H Macy (as the hotel manger, Paul Ebbers), Sharon Stone (as Ebbers' wife, the hotel hairdresser), Demi Moore (as alcoholic singer Virginia Fallon), Christian Slater (as the hotel's kitchen manager) and Freddy Rodriguez as one of the Mexican kitchen workers.

The Good
Estevez handles his impressive cast brilliantly and the collective excitement at Kennedy's arrival keeps the film moving along at a lively pace. The script is excellent, with several of the characters encountering issues that were gripping the country at the time and are still relevant today, such as racism, sexual inequality and class divisions.

The action is occasionally intercut with footage of the real-life Bobby on the campaign trail (Estevez wisely decides against casting a known actor in the role) and making some powerful speeches. This produces a powerful sense of genuine loss at the climax of the film, particularly when faced with the inevitable contrast with American politicians today.

The Great
The cast are uniformly terrific, but stand-outs include Stone, Moore (their scene together is fantastic), Rodriguez and Laurence Fishburne as the hotel's sous chef. There's also strong comic support from Shia LeBeouf as a campaign worker who goofs off and takes acid with Ashton Kutcher's character’s dealer.

Worth seeing?
Brilliantly written, beautifully acted and ultimately both moving and thought-provoking. One of the best films of the year.

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Bobby
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Content updated: 22/09/2017 12:40

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