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Bobby
Emilio Estevez’s Oscar masterpiece?
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Bobby
Anthony Hopkins and the Director Emilio Estevez on the Set of "Bobby".
RATING:
 6/10
OPENING WEEKEND: $14,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $48,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.



May 18th, 2006: It is June 4th, 1968 and America is in the midst of fighting a war in Vietnam and dealing with social unrest due to the Civil Rights Movement back at home. Employees and visitors at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles are anticipating the arrival of esteemed Presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy. The hotel doorman, John Casey (Anthony Hopkins), the hotel manager Paul (William H. Macy), his wife Miriam (Sharon Stone), the lounge singer, Virginia Fallon (Demi Moore), war draftee William (Elijah Wood), and his new wife Diane (Lindsay Lohan) are among the many who are impatiently awaiting Kennedy’s appearance. As their individual stories intertwine, they all head toward a disastrous and unavoidable finale. Unaware of what lies ahead, they will soon become united by a single, history-altering tragedy: the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

What to Expect: In the late 1960s, an unpopular war in Vietnam combined with anti-war protests and Civil Rights demonstrations throughout the country caused many Americans to live in fear and uncertainty. One heroic figure, Martin Luther King Jr., who unwaveringly fought against injustice in many of its forms, was a source of inspiration for many people. Sadly, he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy was in Indianapolis at the time as part of his Presidential campaign. His anti-war stance and his concern for increasing urban poverty made him a popular figure in the Democratic Party. After learning of King’s death, he made a heartfelt speech, calling for peace between the races. While 43 were killed and thousands were injured during riots that ensued throughout the country, Indianapolis remained quiet. Although Kennedy had his reservations about running for President initially, he soon emerged as a chief candidate, collecting legions of supporters along the way who saw the country moving in the right direction under his leadership. On June 4th, Kennedy scored a crucial victory when he won the primaries in South Dakota and California. A Democratic nomination for President was seemingly right around the corner when he addressed a gathering of his supporters in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel just after midnight on June 5th. Following the speech, Kennedy made his way to the hotel kitchen through the service area. At that point a man named Sirhan B. Sirhan shot into the crowd, wounding several people, including Kennedy, who was the only one to eventually succumb to his injuries. Early in the morning on June 6th, approximately 4 years following the assassination of his brother John F. Kennedy, he passed away.

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Bobby is actually not a film about the assassination as much as it is about a group of individuals who happen to find themselves together at the hotel at the time the event occurs. The plot will revolve around the crisscrossing stories of 22 characters that represent the diverse social amalgam of the American people. It will be a fictional account, within the context of the actual assassination and the impact it had. Kennedy will appear in the movie only briefly via historical newsreel footage. Apparently, there are no lead characters as nearly all are given equal weight in the film, so rather than focus on a few select names from the impressive cast, I’ve chosen the easy way out and listed a good portion of the actors below along with their respective parts:

Anthony Hopkins – John Casey, the hotel doorman
Demi Moore – Virginia Fallon, the hotel Lounge singer
William H. Macy – Paul, the Ambassador Hotel manager
Sharon Stone – Miriam, Paul’s wife; also runs hotel beauty salon
Elijah Wood – William, Vietnam war draftee
Lindsay Lohan – Diane, married William to save him from the draft; fell in love with him
Martin Sheen – Jack, a wealthy campaign financier
Helen Hunt – Samantha, Jack’s wife
Emilio Estevez – Tim, Robert F. Kennedy’s collaborator
Nick Cannon – Dwayne, “Youth for Kennedy” campaign volunteer
Joshua Jackson – Head of the Los Angeles based “Youth for Kennedy” chapter
Shia LaBeouf – Jimmy, a campaign volunteer who decides to spend the day on acid
Christian Slater – Timmons, the food and beverage manager
Freddy Rodríguez – José, the hotel Busboy
Brian Geraghty – Cooper, a campaign worker
Joy Bryant – Patricia, a switchboard operator
Spencer Garrett – David Novak
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Susan Taylor
David Kobzantsev – Sirhan B. Sirhan, the assassin

Here are a couple of additional tidbits about the cast. Elijah Wood and Lindsay Lohan have a bedroom scene together, but for anyone hoping to get a glimpse of some nudity you will probably be disappointed since it is tastefully done. Laurence Fishburne and Heather Graham are rumored to have small parts in the movie. And for the straw that broke the camel’s back, Ashton Kutcher makes a brief cameo as a stoner to add to this already lengthy list of prestigious Hollywood names.

Undoubtedly, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is what is Emilio Estevez’s name doing by the director’s credit. At first glance, this material seems more appropriate for someone like Oliver Stone (Platoon, JFK, Nixon, World Trade Center) to tackle. Estevez, who directed the comedy Men at Work and the Vietnam War themed The War at Home, actually has several feature film and television directing credits, but nothing even remotely close to the complexity of this project. However, this appears to be a highly personal endeavor for Estevez, who also wrote the screenplay and stars in the film. Reportedly, filmmaker Roger Avary (Killing Zoe, The Rules of Attraction) inspired him to try to bring his story to the big screen.

Personally, I wish Estevez all the best, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t skeptical about the entire project. Although he has some experience, Estevez is trying to pull off a monumental effort, comparable to the brilliant Robert Altman’s (The Player, Short Cuts, Gosford Park) best ensemble pieces. Although the premise suggests Oscar potential, Altman has yet to win his first statuette, so I can’t imagine that the inexperienced Estevez could jump ahead of him in line. I genuinely believe that he is reaching for a grand statement with Bobby, but I’m not positive that he has the experience to convey what he wants with resonating conviction. He is working with an immense cast and a budget of less than $10 million and word is out that he has had some problems on the set. On the other hand, it would be unfair to dismiss him so quickly at this point. Who would have guessed some 20 years ago that one day Kevin Costner would have been holding an Academy Award for directing the spectacular Dances With Wolves?

In Conclusion: As mentioned previously, the drama will not focus on Robert F. Kennedy, but rather on the fictional characters that inhabit the world of the movie. It’s likely that it will touch upon social and cultural issues of the time, while possibly pointing to their relevance in today’s uncertain world. Bobby will look through the eyes of ordinary people at how life and our hopes and dreams can change in an instant. My main concern is that the movie may not have the type of impact it would have if it actually did focus on Kennedy instead. The blending of fact and fiction in this manner gives me pause. I’m reminded of the tireless melodrama of “Pearl Harbor,” a film that created an embarrassing love triangle within the context of World War II. I don’t think Bobby will suffer from such miscalculations, but it is difficult to gauge exactly where this movie will fit in once the dust has settled. I will be observing the movie’s progress with curiosity.

Similar Titles: The War at Home, Cookie’s Fortune, Giant
RELEASE DATE
November 23rd, 2006 (wide)
November 17th, 2006 (limited)
April 10th, 2007 (DVD)


STUDIO
The Weinstein Company LLC

DIRECTOR
Emilio Estevez

STARRING
Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Elijah Wood, Sharon Stone, Freddy Rodriguez, Nick Cannon, Lindsay Lohan, Shia LaBeouf, Brian Geraghty, William H. Macy, Helen Hunt, Christian Slater, Joshua Jackson, James Marsden, Mark Valley, Martin Sheen, Ashton Kutcher, Laurence Fishburne, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Heather Graham, Svetlana Metkina

USER RATING
  9.2/10
Total: 123 vote(s).


GENRE
Drama

OFFICIAL SITE
Click here to view site

MPAA RATING
Rated R for language, drug content and a scene of violence

RUNTIME
120 min

LANGUAGE
English

BUDGET
Unknown

OPENING WEEKEND
$67,000

TOTAL GROSS
Unknown

EXTERNAL
Bobby at AskMen.com








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