sound turned low: a movie blog

"it's like black and white tv with the sound turned low" -- rumble fish

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bobby (2006, Emilio Estevez)

The first time I saw Emilio Estevez's Bobby, I was impressed by it, but also a bit put off by the celebrity-studded cast and over-the-top admiration for the man. Of course, you don't spend close to ten years working on a script if you feel ambivalent towards someone, but still. I first saw the film three years ago and some of the scenes in the film have really stuck in my mind.

In January, I started taking a screenwriting course and it's really made me appreciate Bobby a lot more. For all its flaws, it's a film I feel really strongly about. There's some scenes I'd scrap, some characters I'd throw out, but all-in-all, I really admire what Estevez did with the film. Aside from the politics, it's a beautiful example of how people lead their lives, how politics play a role in their lives and how it influences human interaction. It's not too preachy -- not too believable at times either, but it makes you sit up and notice, and think.

It's interesting to me that Estevez didn't choose to make a film about Kennedy himself, but about how he influenced people. When you see the archive footage of Kennedy (RFK is portrayed by RFK, basically), you realise that's the perfect tribute to him. A movie about Kennedy is a movie about Kennedy, a movie about Kennedy's influence shows just how important he was.

The great thing about Bobby is also that it was made by an actor. It's interesting that Emilio Estevez chose to make the movie with a lot of old friends, colleagues and even his Dad. It's a star-studded affair but when did you last see 'Mighty Duck' Joshua Jackson play a meaty role (pre-TV's 'Fringe')? Nick Cannon has a great serious role, Harry Belafonte and Anthony Hopkins share some amazing screen time and Laurence Fishburne and Freddy Rodriguez share the most intense, gorgeous scene in the film. Also, Lindsay Lohan is loveliness personified but then again, I'm probably the only LiLo-fan left. I'll always sing her praises, she shines in this film.

My favourite thing about Bobby, though? The scene between Demi Moore and Sharon Stone. It may be a result of growing up in the early '90s, but Sharon Stone is legendary to me. I don't think these two great actresses (seriously!) would have ever gotten to share such great material if it weren't for Emilio Estevez. Just genius casting. Sharon Stone got by on her sex appeal for a long time, but the look of hurt on her face in this scene just wipes the floor with me.

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