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Chappaquiddick Review: “the movie is fundamentally the portrait of a weasel”

Chappaquiddick Review: “the movie is fundamentally the portrait of a weasel”

New film examines Ted Kennedy and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.

As the only Massachusetts based member of the Legal Insurrection team, I’ve taken it upon myself to provide you with a preview of the upcoming film ‘Chappaquiddick” which details the events around the death of Mary Jo Kopechne and the aftermath for Ted Kennedy.

I haven’t seen the film yet but it’s not like there are spoilers for anyone familiar with American history. My greatest concern with this film is that it will somehow whitewash Kennedy’s responsibility for Kopechne’s death or Kennedy’s dirtbag behavior following the accident. As we know, Hollywood and the media have a tendency to rewrite history for people they like.

I use as an example, this headline from People Magazine via Twitchy:

Ted Kennedy’s life was derailed that night? Really?

Here’s how People describes the film (emphasis is mine):

Nearly five decades ago, on July 18, 1969, a car went off the Dike Bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick. The driver, Ted Kennedy escaped. His 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not.

The result is a haunting look back into the mystery that surrounds that night when a group of six women who had worked for Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential bid, and six men, including Ted Kennedy, gathered for a party at a rented cottage on the island for a reunion party and ended in Kopechne’s death by drowning.

It’s really not a mystery. Kennedy walked away from the scene of a crime and let Kopechne drown because he was scared of what it would do to his political aspirations.

My fellow Bay Stater Howie Carr seems anxious to see it based on the poster:

Take a look at the trailer below:

I scanned the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and this one by Owen Gleiberman of Variety stood out:

The film says that what happened at Chappaquiddick was even worse than we think. Kopechne’s body was found in a position that implied that she was struggling to keep her head out of the water. And what the film suggests is that once the car turned upside down, she didn’t die; she was alive and then drowned, after a period of time, as the water seeped in. This makes Edward Kennedy’s decision not to report the crime a clear-cut act of criminal negligence — but in spirit (if not legally), it renders it something closer to an act of killing.

“Chappaquiddick” is a meticulously told chronicle, no more and no less, and at times there’s a slight detachment in watching it, because it’s too tough and smart to milk the situation by turning Edward Kennedy into a “tragic figure.” In certain ways, he may well have been, and there are moments when we see the sad grandeur with which this disaster hangs on his stooped shoulders, but the movie is fundamentally the portrait of a weasel: a man who, from the moment the accident happens, takes as his premise that he will not suffer the consequences, and then does what it takes to twist reality so that it conforms to that scenario.

I may see the movie when it comes out in April. I’m curious to see how accurate it is and how it treats all the supporting characters.

It would be fascinating to hear what Mary Jo Kopechne would say about the #MeToo movement but as countless others have observed, she is unavailable for comment.

Featured image via YouTube.


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It will be released April 6, 2018, and I can’t wait. I rarely go to movies, but this one I’ll definitely go see.

What a shame that it took 50 years for the truth of what happened to finally be admitted openly.

    Too few appreciate that Fat Boy Kennedy was a profoundly spiritual person who frequently voiced his structure of belief.

    “Every man must believe in something. As for me, I believe I’ll have another drink.”

What’s to know? It’s really a very, very short story. I think I’ll wait until it’s in the dollar bin at Best Buy.

If it depicts Ted Kennedy as a weasel then it is an honest portrayal of him and what he did. That alone is odd coming out of Hollywood.

As time goes by and as I grow older, I am coming to believe that the reason Western culture is on a collision course with death is because the people and it’s institutions intellectualize their existence more than they should. This is just one example.

Ted Kennedy was a needy man, and at this time what he needed most was a good killing. If our social justice cisterns had chosen to punish him, it would have been with a large fine and incarceration for a specific time. No real punishment, just basic restrictions; another false liberal meme that “mankind is basically good”. However, corruption steeped forth and rewarded Ted’s dishonorable cowardice with political power. Later he would reward America with corrupt legislation that we’re still burdened with. A good killing could have solved all of this pointless drama and delivered another underachiever from useless guilt.

I find it amazing how time heals all wounds though. Ted Kennedy is getting every need he has right now being met with his new home, so in the long run life balances itself out.

Says everything about you when your first call, following a car accident, is, not to emergency services or to the the police, but to your lawyer.

I’ll wait for others to report back about it before spending my money on it.

I also won’t be surprised if the SJWs who cry about holding Founding Fathers to 21st century morals and customs give the “liberal lion” a pass because those “were different times”.

Dike bridge? They have their own special bridges now?

Mike: As a Californian who is usually the one dealing with the Hollywood crazy, I am grateful you are going to take this one for the team. As for myself, I am getting tickets to “The Darkest Hour.”

I’m truly shocked that Hollywood is making a movie that tells the true story of what a spineless coward Ted Kennedy was. “Lion of the Senate” my ass.

If this one is a hit, I wonder if they’ll make the prequel where Joe Kennedy lobotomizes his daughter, Rosemary, because she liked to fool around with the boys.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 21, 2017 at 11:01 am

The guy behind Entertainment Studios, who is referenced near the beginning of the trailer (I guess the producer/financier or some muckity muck in producing film content), appears to be an Obama fan.

I can’t describe how much I loathe Ted Kennedy. He is a despicable POS. Yet the people of Mass sent him back to the Senate every 6 years and he had the gall to run for President! Un-F’ing-believable!

    Anchovy in reply to Mojo56. | December 21, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Which says more about the people of Mass than it does about Teddy the Lion.

    If Dead Ted’s name showed up on a ballot, these dolts would elect him again.

    To his credit, Ted maintained his Bar Of Overseers license even postmortem. Elizabeth Warren has NEVER had a license to practice in Massachusetts. However, she’s a high-cheeked Harvard-American so the ordinary laws do not apply to the enchanted class.

    tom_swift in reply to Mojo56. | December 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    and he had the gall to run for President!

    Not really. All of this was well known shortly after it happened. Mr. Liberal Lion abandoned a girl to drown, and everybody in Massachusetts knew it. There was no elaborate or clever coverup, the people who recovered the car and body didn’t later jump out of any tall buildings or shoot themselves a couple of times or decide to take naps on railroad tracks; there was no concerted attempt to eliminate witnesses. And we were all looking out for one, knowing what shits the Kennedy Klan are.

    There was never any chance of a Presidential run for Teddy after that, and the MA Dems never really pretended otherwise. The MA Republicans handled Chappaquiddick obliquely, rarely referring to it directly, but they’re castrati, feeble even in comparison to national Republicans. But nobody ever forgot about the crash. There was some speculation that the “accident” was deliberate, but that was never seriously investigated. Nevertheless, Teddy was damaged goods, and stayed that way for the rest of his life.

    He did manage to stay in the Senate, but for MA voters, that was basically a case of well, who else you got?

      …and I still have my bumper sticker, always ready, just in case Teddy ever ran for Prez: “Teddy promises a blond in every pond”….

      Very good comment. While interesting irony, castrati actually had powerful operatic voices and historically eunuchs exerted a great deal of behind-the-scenes political power and influence on state decisions.

I don’t know if Andrew Branca still lives in this shithole state as I do, but if he doesn’t good on him for getting out.

The “lion”‘s hiss.

Counter-counterrevolution. It’s past time for some brand destruction in kind.

Imagine – today you get hounded out of the Senate for touching a woman’s breasts, yet there was a time when a Senator could kill a woman and suffer no consequences.

I usually associate Watergate with the beginning of the end of what was known as journalism. But this happened 4-5 years before Watergate and the media circled the wagons around Teddy as best it could.

Had Kennedy been from any state other than Massachusetts, I doubt he would have been re-elected, regardless of media support.

Kennedy? Weinstein? Why does it take 40 – 50 years for Democrats to find their conscience? It won’t be until 2050 before they figure out Hillary is a mendacious witch

    bour3 in reply to bt1. | December 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    They didn’t find their conscience, they were delivered Trump, and they have to clean house before their attack can have any affect.

And to think that the title of his autobiography is “True Compass” – like the man *had* a moral compass!!

    TX-rifraph in reply to mochajava76. | December 22, 2017 at 5:40 am

    He had the same moral compass Bill had–it was located just below his waist and always pointed in the direction he was facing. All he had to do was follow it! And he did.

Ted’s been sober for over 8 years now so he has that going for him….

I have one question about the whole affair that has nagged at me forever:

Was Mary Jo pregnant at the time of her death?

No autopsy was done, remember. We’ll never know. But knowing whether or not she was would explain a whole, whole lot about what happened that night.

Mary Jo Kopechne unavailable for comment.

“I may see the movie when it comes out in April. I’m curious to see how accurate it is and how it treats all the supporting characters.”

What I’m interested in is information about the Kopechne family. I’ve read books about this scandal and it seems the family had very little to say. Did the Kennedys pay them off – or did they just want their privacy?