Friday, December 1, 2006


Drama, true story

One of the first steps in the process of electing the President of the United States is a series of elections held in each state. These so-called “primaries” provide the different U.S. political parties the opportunity to chose one candidate for the Presidency.
The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles was the campaign headquarters on June 4, 1968 for Bobby Kennedy, the New York Senator, who was running against Eugene McCarthy trying to win the California Democratic primary. The winner would be facing off against the Republican candidate, Richard Nixon, in the up coming November election.

Freddy Rodriguez: Ambassador Hotel bus boy José
Christian Slater: his boss Timmons, the Food and Beverage Manager
Laurence Fishburne: Edward, hotel sous-chef
Jacob Vargas: José’s friend and fellow kitchen employee Miguel
William H. Macy: the Hotel Manager Paul Ebbers
Anthony Hopkins: John Casey, retired doorman *
Lindsay Lohan: Diane, a teenage bride-to-be
Elijah Wood: William, the groom-to-be
Harry Belafonte: Nelson, John’s chess-playing friend *
Sharon Stone: Miriam, the hotel’s hair stylist and manacurist
Heather Graham: hotel switchboard operator Angela
Demi Moore: Virginia Fallon, lounge singer
Emilio Estevez: Tim, her husband/manager
Brian Geraghty: Jimmy, a Kennedy campaign worker *
Ashton Kutcher: a hippie drug dealer
Martin Sheen: Jack Stevens, well-to-do Kennedy supporter *
Helen Hunt: his wife Samantha *

This is one ambitious undertaking, in fact, too ambitious. By chronically the lives of some two dozen people who were at the Ambassador Hotel the day Bobby Kennedy died, we lose sight of what the whole thing is all about.

I presume the many sub-plots are supposed to be a reflection of the times, to put the killing in perspective. And several stories do just that. But others seem to have no place in the movie (marked with an * above) other than to add a few more well-known names to the list of actors. These extraneous bits only serve to complicate matters and extend the length of the movie to two hours.

With such a huge cast it is not surprising the acting is uneven but Kutcher’s effort (or should I say lack of effort?) is by far the worst.

for language, drug content and one scene of violence.

Kennedy’s Campaign Manager lights up a cigarette but in the next scene from over his shoulder it is apparent it has gone out. When the camera shifts to a shot directly in front of him you can see the smoke curling up from the unlit cigarette.

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