‘Bobby’ Movie Review (2006)

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Bobby Movie ReviewThere are movies that as a reviewer you dread writing. Bobby is one of those for me because I know that nothing I write will be good enough to give you a sense of how much I enjoyed it. I’m imploring you to see it, if you take nothing else from this review make sure you take that. And now I will try my hardest to convince you with a mere review.

Bobby is a movie of unquestionable quality. It has a giant scope and a giant story. It weaves eleven (I think) stories in a manner worthy of one of my favorite films of all time, the illustrious Magnolia. Bobby has an ensemble cast for the ages, amazing political speeches, and a relevant theme. Do you get what I’m saying here? It’s a great film and I hope some accolades get thrown its way. I liked it better than Good Night, and Good Luck and critics practically tripped over themselves trying to get on that bandwagon. I have two minor negative things to say about Bobby and I almost feel guilty saying them. This will end up in my top ten with ease, and it goes down a superbly executed portrait of a leader.

My older brother was named after Robert F. Kennedy but I don’t think I ever really understood who the man was, or what he meant to a nation. Robert Kennedy ran for president during The Vietnam War and in the shadow of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination. I’m not going to talk about the plot in great detail because I think everyone should experience this as I did, with limited expectations and a curious mind. Suffice to say RFK is the subject and the plot revolves around a hotel he visited on the campaign trail. The characters represented are a cross section of America. Five performances in particular stood out for me so I’ll throw them at you in list mode; Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Laurence Fishburne, Christian Slater, and Nick Cannon. Nick Cannon! I can’t believe it either, but he was very good as a political field worker for RFK. The only gal I’d point out as specifically weak is Helen Hunt. Maybe it was the role in general, but she just didn’t work for me here. I would also say that when Emelio Estevez appears on screen for the first time it feels kind of silly. He’s done an amazing job of directing here, I won’t take anything away from him on that front, but the depth of his work prior to Bobby affects his initial entrance. He does fairly well after that. Who haven’t I mentioned? Martin Sheen, Joshua Jackson, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ashton Kutcher, Heather Graham, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Elijah Wood… whew. I might have missed one but you get the point, this thing is packed with known actors and for the most part they get equal screen time. Estevez should at the very least get best original screenplay and film editing Oscar nominations. If it was in my power I’d give him the hardware now.

The amazing thing is, after all the cards are on the table, Bobby is a story that’s all about life and hope. We live in an age (and country) of fear mongering and divisive politics that tear at the fabric of our lives (and I don’t mean cotton). Bobby looks at something different, a leader who inspired hope and felt that American pride should be based on something tangible. What’s the film really about? Vietnam, the 60’s, drugs, race relations, sex, and politics. It’s about a country cast to the wind amidst enormous social change. Bobby tackles huge themes, global dreams, and a nation coming apart at the seams. It’s a tremendous movie, and yeah, it deserves better than just my words. It deserves your attention and ticket buying power.

GRADE: A