A who's who of Hollywood A-listers bring the final hours of Robert F Kennedy's life's to the big screen in this wonderful tribute to the legacy of a man much remembered and mourned in American history.
'Bobby' intertwines the stories of a host of different (fictional) individuals over the 24 hours prior to the assassination of another Kennedy son. While not immediately clear, the links between these people become more evident as their stories connect at the Ambassador Hotel on that fateful day in June 1968.
Alcoholic lounge singer Veronica (Moore) may just have pushed her long-suffering husband Tim (Estevez) too far. Cheating hotel manager Paul (Macy) has given one of his management team, Timmons (Slater), reason to seek revenge, which in turn spells a reality check for his stylist wife Miriam (Stone). The hotel staff, including chef Edward (Fishburne) and kitchen hand José (Rodriguez), are working flat-out for the gala dinner that night, while debating issues of race, rights and social standing (an element that becomes a little forced as the movie progresses).
Elsewhere, teen bride Diane (Lohan) is saving William (Wood), the man she loves, from going to the front lines in Vietnam by marrying him, while social climber Jack (Sheen) and his neurotic wife Samantha (Hunt) are busy going about their business of playing tennis and buying shoes - all under the watchful eye of retired hotel doorman John Casey (Hopkins) and companion Nelson (Belafonte).
And closer to Camp Kennedy Wade (Jackson) is co-ordinating the last-minute canvassing efforts, aided by Dwayne (Cannon), a young man completely taken with Kennedy's ideals. Jimmy (Geraghty) and Cooper (LaBeouf) have also volunteered to join the canvassing troops but get sidetracked by the promise of reaching new drug-induced highs with hippie Fisher (Kutcher).
In all of these stories there are undertones of the political and social realities of the time - both the cares of the rich and those on the margins of society. Some are hammered home a little too vehemently but it is those which are given a more delicate and subtle treatment that really stick – showing Kennedy as the kind of man who could have made all the difference.
One of the most extraordinary, and indeed impressive, elements of 'Bobby' is the decision to present the subject only as he was, without interpretation. Throughout the movie the only footage we see of the renowned senator is archive material, ensuring that his charisma, charm and ideals are presented exactly as they were during the height of his political career.
Everything about this movie exudes sheer passion, from all involved. You can tell that for director Emilio Estevez this was a labour of love for the duration of its lengthy production. He even sold his personal art collection to fund it, such was his belief in the movie that he spent several years bringing to fruition.
There is the concern that the long list of stars pulled into this project serves to distract from the stories that they are telling but once you get past the first 10 minutes the characters grow past their initial celebrity element and there are some fine performances to note, in particular Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Anthony Hopkins and Joshua Jackson.
While more focused on the personal stories of that day, which offer us a clear picture of the social and cultural climate of 1960s America, this is also very much a political commentary on today's world. 'Bobby' captures a time of great hope, and later utter dejection, for Americans who had become disillusioned – the kind of hope which probably now seems a very distant memory.
As a historical testament, 'Bobby' doesn't tell us anything more about this era in history than what we already knew going into the cinema, but as a tribute to impact that one person can have on so many people, it really hits the nail on the head.