Parkland

Parkland

Peter Landesman (2013)

89min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Writer/director Peter Landesman's feature debut is an as-it-happened, on-the-ground reconstruction of the events of 22 November 1963, when a dying President John F Kennedy was rushed to Parkland hospital in Dallas, followed a day later by his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The fidelity to the "lone gunman" theory may irk conspiracy theorists, but in sticking to the facts known on the day and focusing on ordinary people at work - from medic to Secret Service agent via coroner and priest - this assured, involving and personal view of history cuts through the myth, its realism enhanced by cinematographer Barry Ackroyd's sun-bleached palette. From a note-perfect ensemble cast, Marcia Gay Harden and Zac Efron stand out as doughty head nurse and shell-shocked junior doctor in the fraught, gory, politically sensitive ER sequences. Also making an impression are James Badge Dale as Oswald's bemused brother, Mark Duplass as loyal presidential aide Kenny O'Donnell and Paul Giamatti as amateur film-maker Abraham Zapruder, whose 8mm record of the shooting causes his life to change before our eyes. Only a grandstanding Jacki Weaver as Oswald's deluded mother breaks the film's cumulatively empathic spell.

Summary

The aftermath of the Kennedy assassination is explored from various points of view. As medical staff try unsuccessfully to save the president's life and the FBI pursue the shooter, the family of Lee Harvey Oswald come to realise his role in events and a bystander faces a terrible choice after capturing the killing on film. Fact-based drama, starring Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron and Billy Bob Thornton.

Cast & Crew

Dr Charles "Jim" Carrico Zac Efron
Forrest Sorrels Billy Bob Thornton
Abraham Zapruder Paul Giamatti
Nurse Doris Nelson Marcia Gay Harden
Father Oscar Huber Jackie Earle Haley
Lee Harvey Oswald Jeremy Strong
FBI Agent Gordon Shanklin David Harbour
Lillian Zapruder Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
Kenneth O'Donnell Mark Duplass
Roy Kellerman Tom Welling
Dr Malcolm Perry Colin Hanks
Marguerite Oswald Jacki Weaver
Robert Oswald James Badge Dale
David Powers Gil Bellows
Earl Rose Rory Cochrane
James Hosty Ron Livingston
Director Peter Landesman
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Koch Media EntertainmentGuidance: Swearing. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 22 Nov 2013
Drama