I’ll update this later.But suffice to say that “Parkland” and “The Railway Man” each had strong debuts last night. “Parkland” is the strongest movie ever made about the JFK assassination, with Paul Giamatti outstanding as Abe Zapruder, the man who filmed it all and began famous forever; and two knockout performances– James Badge Dale as Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother and Jacki Weaver as their mother. Peter Landesman throws out all conspiracy theories and concentrates on facts. He’s done a sensational job. There are lots of smaller roles, most especially interesting Marcia Gay Harden as the ER nurse, and Billy Bob Thornton as the local chief of the Secret Service. Tom Welling, trapped on TV forever as Superman, makes good turn here too.
“The Railway Man” takes place in World War II, in Australia and Scotland. It’s a true story, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. This is a big deal old fashioned film, beautifully made and acted. It deserves a good home. I think audiences are hungering for this kind of filmmaking a la “Out of Africa” or “The Quiet American.”