Director: John Curran
Year Released: 2017
Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke), while driving a campaign strategist named Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara) - who was not his wife - around Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, flips his Oldsmobile over a bridge and somehow he survives but she drowns, which makes his well-connected family scramble and panic as to how to 'spin' the story. Ted's behavior after the incident was definitely negligent - although it was dark and he was drunk - and using a neck brace and lying to the press were both dodgy maneuvers, but the film seems stuck in neutral as to how it feels about him: the 'moral center' is lawyer and cousin Joseph Gargan (Ed Helms) who wants Ted to resign, but Ted dismisses his advice ... and would go on to have a very respectable political career, with a focus on helping the helpless (repentance-as-a-career?). The problem with the scenario is that no one is certain what happened - Mr. Kennedy took this knowledge with him to the grave - and if anyone did know they weren't saying: with so much speculative information going around and so many concerned faces and a lot of hand-wringing, it still comes out kind of flat. I will say this: Joe Kennedy (Bruce Dern) sure was a miserable bastard.