Starring Zac Efron, Jacki Weaver, Marcia Gay Harden, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, James Badge Dale, Colin Hanks, and Tom Welling.
Written and directed by Peter Landesman
Peter Landesman’s Parkland looks into groups of people who were affected by those events that occurred during November 22, 1963. There’s the titular hospital with staff (Efron, Hanks, and Gay Harden) negotiating space from secret service men (Welling) and a priest (Earle Haley) while trying to revive two important men in two different days. There’s Abraham Zapruder (Giamatti) who surrenders his 8mm footage of the event to CIA operatives (Malkovich). There’s the Dallas-based FBI branch trying to look into threats before and after that day. Lastly, we see the life of an office worker named Robert (Badge Dale) and his mother (Weaver), who are related to Lee Harvey Oswald, accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy.
The only characters standing out is Weaver’s Mrs. Oswald, who’s forgivably bad in her performance as an insufferable woman who believes that her favourite son, Lee Harvey, works for some secret mission in the government. At least she wasn’t bafflingly passive as she was in Stoker. The other person is Badge Dale’s Robert, who is gallantly suffering through all of this like he would in some Coenesque dark comedy. That would have been a good angle on an oft rehashed story. Anything would have been better than this dried path. I would call this movie ‘journalistic’ but at least movies like those are explosive. This one’s just sloppy.