Sunday, December 22, 2013

JFK (1991)

Director: Oliver Stone

Writers: Oliver Stone, Zachary Sklar, Jim Garrison, Jim Marrs

Composer: John Williams

Starring: Kevin Costner, Sissy Spacek, Gary Oldman, Sally Kirkland, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon, Vincent D'Onofrio, Brian Doyle-Murray, Wayne Knight, Michael Rooker, Laurie Metcalf, Joe Pesci, Walter Matthau, Tommy Lee Jones, Tomas Milian, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Dale Dye, Lolita Davidovich, John Larroquette, Frank Whaley, Martin Sheen

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Story That Won't Go Away

Plot: On November 22, 1963, president John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested for the crime and subsequently shot by Jack Ruby, supposedly avenging the president's death. An investigation concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby acted alone in their respective crimes, but Louisiana district attorney Jim Garrison is skeptical. Assembling a trusted group of people, Garrison conducts his own investigation, bringing about backlash from powerful government and political figures.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

It's been ages since I saw this but I recently watched Stone's director's cut for the first time and it blew me away.  This near-three and a half hour version is captivating and excellent story-telling.  It grabs you by the short and curlies and doesn't let go until the credits roll.  The cast is superb, although I'm still not completely on board with casting Costner.  It's beautifully shot (Robert Richardson) and masterfully edited (Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia).  Normally I find Stone's use of camera and film tricks overdone but here everything he included worked with the film instead of feeling like he's showing off.  One of the most important players in this picture is easily John Williams.  His score it pitch perfect and it's one of the most effective tools that make this such an intense thriller.  While I haven't seen everything Oliver Stone has done, I feel this is his best work.  The director's cut is the way to go and despite the much longer running time, it's one hell of a thriller that doesn't have a dull moment.

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