Friday, November 22, 2013


Watching along with a mortified country as the occurrences of November 22, 1963 unfold, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) develops a curiosity, which will soon turn to obsession, on the questions (or lack thereof) surrounding the Kennedy assassination, a matter which will lead him to be the only person to prosecute the execution, a dangerous expedition which will cost him his reputation, nearly his family, and bring the American public no closer to the truth. Fifty years to the date of the despairing loss of John F. Kennedy, many still harbor doubts about the events surrounding his murder. While director Oliver Stone and his subject, whose book is a basis for the film (the other is a work by Jim Marrs), have become written off in more than a few quarters as paranoid looneys, JFK remains a fascinating albeit exhausting investigatory film, enhanced illimitably by the astonishing, Oscar winning editing by Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia. This is most evident during Garisson's lengthy closing remarks, which arrive over three hours into the picture and rehash many belabored points, but still remain exhilarating thanks largely to their labor. The film is too much at times, some of the acting is overwrought as seemingly every Hollywood star big and tall, large and small appears, but Stone must be commended for its sweeping scope, the thought provoking, difficult questions it asks, and (which the director is not too modest to point out) the congressional information act it inspired.