After last year’s Jackie, another drama depicting a Kennedy family incident came to Toronto International Film Festival this fall. Chappaquiddick, directed by John Curran (Tracks, The Killer Inside Me), stars Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan and Taylor Nichols. It follows the infamous 1969 event in which a car went off a Massachusetts bridge, leading to the death of his campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne, and a cover-up ensued. Ahead of a release in April, the first trailer and poster has now landed.
Nearly five decades ago, on July 18, 1969, a car went off the Dike Bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick. The driver, Ted Kennedy escaped. His 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. An upcoming movie, Chappaquiddick, attempts to tell the story of what happened that night and why it took Kennedy some ten hours to report the accident to the local Edgartown police.
Hey guys! Just a quick follow-up on the news we shared last week about My Days of Mercy and Chappaquiddick (Can anyone type this title without looking it up? Seriously) – it has now been confirmed that Kate will be attending Toronto International Film Festival this year! We don’t know if she’s going to the premieres of both films, but it seems highly likely. Along with the list of confirmed artists, TIFF has also released its complete lineup, which includes some information about each film. You can read more about Kate’s below.
USA / 107 minutes / 2017 / STC / Colour / English / World Premiere
This suspenseful historical drama examines the infamous 1969 incident when Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) accidentally drove off a bridge, resulting in the death of campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara).
Among the most morally murky episodes in late-20th-century US politics — and that’s a crowded field — was the drowning of campaign specialist Mary Jo Kopechne in what would become known as the Chappaquiddick Incident. Kopechne was trapped in a car that Senator Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, following a night of festivities. This sombre, suspenseful recreation of the accident and its aftermath, directed by John Curran (TIFF 2013’s Tracks), invites us to speculate on how this shameful scandal came to be.
The Kennedy dynasty had lost three heirs apparent by 1969, and Ted (Jason Clarke) was, at the time, the family’s last hope to carry their name and ambitions into the upper echelons of US politics. Kennedy patriarch Joe (Bruce Dern), however, always considered his youngest son a ne’er-do-well — and he never let Ted forget it. The party on Chappaquiddick reunited the “Boiler Room Girls” who had served on Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, among them Mary Jo (Kate Mara). Ted whisks Mary Jo away for a reckless moonlight drive that ends in tragedy. But the more profound malfeasance begins after the drowning — itself dramatized here in harrowing detail — when a battalion of spin doctors gets to work on covering up the incident, using the Apollo 11 moon landing as a distraction.
What makes Chappaquiddick such a brilliant historical drama is the way Curran and company focus on moment-by-moment choices instead of suggesting some overarching conspiracy. This is an unsettling film about the way power strives to protect itself while bystanders are left by the wayside.
TIFF has announced earlier today its Gala Presentation lineups and Kate had two film selected to present its world premiere at the festival: Chappaquiddick and My Days of Mercy (previously know as Mercy).
Chappaquiddick, directed by John Curran, tells the recreation of the infamous 1969 drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne, who was trapped in a car that Senator Ted Kennedy drove off of a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, following a long night of festivities.
My Days of Mercy, directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer, tells the story of the daughter (Ellen Page) of a man on death row that falls in love with a woman (Kate Mara) on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.
The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 7 to 17, 2017 and the festival schedule will be released on August 22nd.
According Deadline, Kate Mara and Ed Helms are joining Jason Clarke in the cast of the feature film Chappaquiddick which will be directed by John Curran.
EXCLUSIVE: Kate Mara and Ed Helms are joining Jason Clarke in the cast of the feature film Chappaquiddick which will be directed by John Curran. Mara will star in the pivotal role of Mary Jo Kopechne, the 28 year-old, smart, vivacious teacher and campaign aide to Robert Kennedy who was the passenger in the car of Senator Ted Kennedy (Clarke) when the car he was driving plunged into the water off a one-lane bridge. Kopechne became trapped in the overturned, submerged car while Kennedy escaped. He then failed to report the accident to police and instead that night reached out to two others — a cousin and friend — to help him.
That cousin was Joe Gargan, who will be portrayed in the movie by Helms. Helms role is key to history and to the story as Kennedy wrangled Gargan and another friend to go back to the scene to try to find Kopechne under the water. While Gargan was loyal to Ted he also had a strong moral compass and pressed his cousin to do the right thing and call police (which was not done until the next morning).