People who revel in stories of misconduct and misfortune involving the Kennedy clan will no doubt be lining up to see “Chappaquiddick,” the new movie about that fateful night five decades ago when a car driven by then-Senator Ted Kennedy went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick, killing his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne.
A trailer for the film, directed by John Curran and starring Jason Clarke as Kennedy, Kate Mara as Kopechne, and Bruce Dern as Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, was released this week and it appears to take a jaundiced view of Kennedy’s after-the-fact claim that he had not been drinking.
Kopechne was trapped inside the car after it plunged off the bridge, and it took Kennedy several hours to report the accident to Edgartown police. He later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident and was sentenced to a year of probation.
“Chappaquiddick,” which arrives in theaters April 6, premiered at the Toronto International Film festival and received mixed reviews. Some, like Variety, enjoyed it, calling it “tense, scrupulous, and absorbingly precise,” while others, including The Hollywood Reporter, thought it was a little heavy-handed, or “sober” and “somewhat slack.”
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