Short of solving the ongoing mystery of who really shot President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, any film dealing with the subject has to stand in the mighty shadow of the masterful movie from Oliver Stone, ‘JFK.’ Argue its politics, propositions, or perversions of history, but it’s a stunning example of cinematic technique and artistic chutzpah. Apparently, Peter Landesman is up for the challenge.The first-time feature filmmaker is offering up Parkland, a look at those fateful events of November 22, 1963 thorough the perspective of several sources.
The Secret Service on call that day, the FBI in charge of the investigation, the doctors and nurses at the title hospital (where the mortally wounded Commander in Chief was taken), the brother of accused killer Lee Harvey Oswald, and Abraham Zapruder, witness to the crime who captured the assassination on his now infamous home movie.
The aforementioned is played by Paul Giamatti and he leads up an impressive cast including Jacki Weaver, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron, Jackie Earle Haley, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks, and Ron Livingston. The first trailer for this possible awards season favorite has finally been released and it shows that Landesman at least has a handle on the look and feel of that era. Take a look:
Okay – as you can tell, we clearly LOVE Oliver Stone’s ‘JFK.’ Even at over three hours in length, it is one of those movies that we can watch over and over and over again. Not just for the nutty conspiracy theories and all star cast of scenery chewers. No, it’s because Stone managed to find a way to make the event in Dallas both poignant and important, to illustrate what Kennedy meant to so many people and how his sudden death almost dismantled a nation. Can Landesman accomplish the same thing here? Clearly, he’s not trying to. Also, by taking the narrative outside those 26.6 seconds that shook the world and focusing on the people surrounding and indirectly involved in the incident, he can play fill in the blanks instead of trying to set the record straight.
Guess we’ll have to wait until closer to the 50th Anniversary of the assassination to find out. Parkland is set to open sometime toward the end of the year.