Chappaquiddick Movie trailer

The Chappaquiddick incident, which resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne and might have resulted in possible manslaughter charges against Senator Ted Kennedy, is the subject of John Curran‘s new drama Chappaquiddick. Jason Clarke plays the late Ted Kennedy, who fled the scene of a fatal car accident and waited 10 hours before reporting the incident. The Chappaquiddick trailer provides a tense look at the film.

The members of the Kennedy family were blessed with privilege, but they also were at the center of several tragedies, including the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Then there was the Chappaquiddick incident: in July of 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy, brother to the late John and Robert, accidentally drove his car off a bridge into the water on Chappaquiddick Island. Mary Jo Kopechne, who had served on Robert Kennedy’s Presidential campaign, was in the car with Ted Kennedy. While Kennedy was able to escape the car and swim to shore, Kopechne was not. Rather than immediately report the incident and call for help, Kennedy instead went back to the house where he was staying and went to sleep. The incident wouldn’t be reported for another 10 hours.

The events surrounding the fatal accident are the subject of John Curran’s Chappaquiddick, which stars Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy and Kate Mara as Mary Jo Kopechne. Here’s a new trailer for the film.

Chappaquiddick trailer

This looks somewhat promising. It helps that Clarke is a consistently great actor, who will no doubt bring his considerable skills to film. I also appreciate the fact that Clarke doesn’t seem to be going for the generic “er, ah” Kennedy accent that so many actors tend to slip into when portraying these figures (for a recent terrible example of this, check out Michael C. Hall playing JFK on Netflix’s The Crown).

In his review of the film from TIFF, Marshall Shaffer praised the way Chappaquiddick handled the media spin Kennedy and those around him put forth following the incident:

Ted Kennedy as an impulsive figure who often ignores the sage advice of his closest counsel, even nearing an abusive level with his relative Joe Gargan (a touchingly earnest Ed Helms). The film catches Kennedy in a vicious cycle. He’s perpetually disappointed in others, which leads him to perpetually disappoint everyone around him. The result is a disgusting miasma of spin and deception that evinces the Kennedy instinct to favor their created myths over the truth. By divorcing Ted Kennedy from his accomplishments, Chappaqudick forces a reckoning over the divide between his rhetoric and his actions.

Chappaquiddick opens April 6, 2018. The film’s synopsis is below.

Nearly five decades ago, on July 18, 1969, a car went off the Dike Bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick. The driver, Ted Kennedy escaped. His 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. An upcoming movie, Chappaquiddick, attempts to tell the story of what happened that night and why it took Kennedy some ten hours to report the accident to the local Edgartown police.

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