The true story of Jim Garrison, the New Orleans District Attorney who worked tirelessly to prove the conspiracy that killed President Kennedy.
Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar
Starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Michael Rooker,
Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pesci, Wayne Knight,
Laurie Metcalf, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon, John Candy,
Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Brian Doyle-Murray
Based on the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison
and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs
Oscar Wins - Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor
(Tommy Lee Jones), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay,
Best Sound, Best Original Score (John Williams)
The assassination of President Kennedy irreparably damaged this country forever. His death pushed us further into Vietnam and allowed the military industrial complex to grow even stronger. It's widely accepted that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in his killing of the president, and often times anyone who says differently is called a baseless conspiracy theorist. I'm not one for conspiracies, but I firmly believe that our own government had President Kennedy murdered because he threatened to dismantle the C.I.A. and change the balance of power in our country forever. This brilliant film tells the story of Jim Garrison, the New Orleans D.A. who was the first to publicly pursue criminal charges in connection to this conspiracy, which holds far more water than the American public ever expected.
The best thing JFK has going for it is the incredible ensemble cast that Oliver Stone put together. Kevin Costner leads a dozen of my favorite actors in telling Garrison's story of the pursuit of truth, one that had real ramifications in the court of public opinion. Garrison's investigation leads him to believe our own government used a small black ops team to perform a coup d'etat within our own borders, killing the president, erasing the evidence, and installing a new figurehead in President Johnson. We may never know just how far up the plan went, but Stone does not hold back in his speculation. Every actor performs admirably, particularly Costner as Garrison and Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald.
The film culminates in the actual trial in which Garrison rolled out his theory about who killed the president. It connects all the dots and makes a great deal of sense, but it's next to impossible to prove. Costner's performance in this scene, where his voice cracks when he describes that America is better than this, gave me a whole new respect for him as an actor. This is one of Oliver Stone's finest films, and a true masterpiece.