“The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.” -IMDB
THANK GOD I waited until after the election results were in to watch this film. Let me clarify…
While films like this should come out under tyrannical regimes in order for audiences to discuss their modern-day relevance, I just wouldn’t have been able to do it if I was facing four more years of the giant orange c*** and his oompa loompa following. However, watching it with a fresh dose of hope injected into my veins, I was ready to throw my fist in the air, scream at my television in patriotic outrage, and immerse myself in the incredible journey of The Trial of the Chicago 7.
While I know that any of the five of you reading this blog are most likely of my same political persuasion, I have to say that if you watch this movie, are disgusted by what these individuals endured, and somehow voted for Trump, then you seriously need to invest in a new moral compass. And if you watch this movie and found nothing wrong with the way they were treated, then get the fuck off of my page immediately!!!
*Sorry you can tell I’m fresh off of the most important election of our life time; thus, why I am still, unnecessarily screaming into the void. Anyway, moving on…
The cast was outstanding. It’s funny how if you see ten movie star’s names on a film poster, you know it is either going to be phenomenal or a total dud (i.e. Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day…you get my point). But in this case, it worked perfectly. I was slightly nervous with Eddie Redmayne and Sasha Baron Cohen’s English-tinged accents at first, but the heart that they put into their roles allowed me to quickly ignore their slightly awkward enunciations.
One of my favorite movies of all time, and particularly of the last ten years, is Spotlight. It is a fantastic movie because it knows that its strength lies directly in the story. It doesn’t have to do much except cast the right actors and make sure the script is tight, because the true story is powerful enough without any Hollywood movie magic. It comes as no surprise that Aaron Sorkin was able to pull off a similar feat with this film. Sorkin, known for his focus on language and stories that are character-drive, has made his strongest film since The Social Network and one that resonates so deeply in these troubled times. Sorkin absolutely has a political message here. If you want to call that biased, I guess you could, but I think we’d have to have a deeper conversation about what constitutes bias (I spot a rabbit hole). He clearly ties this trial and the events which sparked it to the present day, focusing important moments in the film on the protest chants which many of us have continued yelling in the streets. The beating of protestors by police hits on a fresh wound that makes you cringe in pain when you see it.
After watching this movie, I found it pretty amazing (of course, not shocking as no one in the movie was wearing a mask) that this movie was filmed in September 2019, well in advance of the protests and police violence this summer. After all, politics are cyclical. Movies, however, when done well, can help remind us that although we may be fighting some of the same injustices as fifty years ago, the arch of human history bends towards progress. After all, Vietnam did end. Nixon resigned. AND DING DONG THE TRUMP IS DEFEATED!
Rating: 7 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: The Social Network, West Wing
With: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sasha Baron Cohen, and so many other amazing actors
Directed By: Aaron Sorkin