Monday, June 24, 2024

Donald Trump Asks To Screen Controversial “Chappaquiddick” Movie About Kennedy Scandal At White House


Donald Trump has been pretty selective so far about what he screens at the White House.

So far, we know he or someone there has asked for and gotten Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” Hugh Jackman in “The Greatest Showman,” and “Finding Dory.”

Trump also asked to see Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in “The Darkest Hour.”

Trump’s meat and potatoes taste has steered him so far to history and politics. He’s undoubtedly learned a lot if he didn’t snooze during the shows.

But now I’m told that yesterday an unreleased film arrived at the White House. His staff is said to have asked to see John Curran’s “Chappaquiddick,” the movie starring Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy and Kate Mara as Mary Jo Kopechne. It’s possible, I am told, Trump learned of the film from reading a story I wrote on February 27th that was picked up on the Drudge Report.

“Chappaquiddick,” which is very well made, is not easy on Kennedy as it tells the story of Kopechne’s death in 1969. I was a Ted Kennedy fan right til his death, but the movie factually portrays the death and more than suggests  a cover up after Kennedy panicked and did nothing to help this young woman who had — just one year earlier– worked for his late brother Bobby. Kennedy struggles with his own guilt, and with the historic implications of his involvement.

Trump may not get these subtleties. He may just view “Chappaquiddick” as an indictment of the Kennedys and something to use against Democrats when he goes out on the stump. Whatever happens, he’ll get an early look before Curran’s film unfurls next month. Trump will see the film this week when he returns from a fundraising trip to the West Coast.

“Chappaquiddick” will be released by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, and as I wrote before, it’s must-see.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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