(Note: The movies starts at 6:05pm)
Designed in part to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the ensemble movie Parkland offers a fresh and affecting slant on that traumatic slice of history. The title comes from Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where both President John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald were rushed after being shot.
Zac Efron and Colin Hanks play the residents tending to the President, and Marcia Gay Harden is the head nurse. They convey the right note of numbed shock, along with a sense of professionalism – people doing their best during an unprecedented national emergency. We also follow the reactions of the Secret Service agents, as well as FBI agent James Hosty (Ron Livingston), who was actually compiling a file on Oswald and is ordered to destroy it in order to save the Bureau from embarrassment.
Another questionable decision is taken with regard to the famous footage shot by amateur photographer Abraham Zapruder (Paul Giamatti). As reporters besiege Zapruder for rights to the footage, he meets with an editor of Lifemagazine and agrees to sell the footage to him on the condition that the most graphic frames are edited out.
The standout performance, however, is given by James Badge Dale as the assassin’s brother, Robert, capturing the mixture of shame and grief that characterized his stunned reaction. The film wisely doesn’t wade into the ongoing controversy over whether Oswald acted alone. Instead it honours a dozen ordinary people who inadvertently found themselves swept up into history.
– Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter
Directed by: Peter Landesman
Starring: Zac Efron, Colin Hanks, Billy Bob Thornton,Paul Giamatti, Ron Livingston, James Badge Dale, Marcia Gay Harden
Screenplay by: Peter Landesman
Rated Parental Guidance; Mature Theme, Disturbing Content, Tobacco Use.