The only question is: Is the LBJ movie we want and deserve an LBJ movie directed by Rob Reiner? At this point, Johnson is the quintessence of a background figure, and obviously not happy about it. In what initially seems a somewhat corny contrivance, but later proves its dramatic worth, the film intersperses the first two-thirds of its narrative with a depiction of the events of November 22, 1963, with the Johnsons arriving in Dallas and following President and Mrs. Kennedy in the motorcade that will take them through downtown. This is two stories for the price of one. Director Rob Reiner’s excellent biopic is limited in scope but powerful in its presentation. By. Movie Reviews Movie Review: LBJ Danielle Solzman November 3, 2017. Those of us who were around at the time recall just what a despicable president LBJ actually was. Such episodes in a politician’s life – internal exiles, if you will – entail psychological struggles that test his character, sagacity and resolve to the extreme. He has written for The New York Times, Variety, Film Comment, The Village Voice, Interview, Cineaste and other publications. All rights reserved. While Johnson’s legacy includes such milestones as his Great Society legislation, Head Start, Medicare and Medicaid as well as his escalation of the Vietnam War, “LBJ” largely ignores the events of his presidency to focus on what came before, in the years 1959-63: first, his power as the Senate majority leader; then, his years as vice president, when he felt largely neutered and marginalized until fate catapulted him to the pinnacle of power. The most powerful senator of his time, made president first by horrid chance, but then by a landslide election victory, and the architect of the Great Society, he left the White House in 1969 in disgrace. Forgot your password? Then comes the watershed moment of Dallas. LBJ Review: Laying bare the naked politics of JFK's successor ... Woody Harrelson plays Lyndon Baines Johnson and Jennifer Jason Leigh his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, in the film LBJ… Review: LBJ (TIFF 2016) September 18, 2016 by: Chris Bumbray. Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” had the courage and insight to embrace the tragic elements in its protagonist’s story. In its final act, the film unfortunately devolves toward TV-movie conventionality by ending on the high note of Johnson announcing the legislation that will produce the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [Full Review in Spanish]. 3 years ago. Richard Jenkins turns in his usual winning performance. LBJ is an eye-opening and sensitive look at a man who looked everyone in the eye and fought with conviction and respect to bring a nation together during one of its darkest moments. [Full review in Spanish], Rob Reiner, in creative decline since the mid-nineties, approaches the personality of Lyndon B. Johnson in his best film in years. Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic. The scornful Bobby opines, "He's trying to be like JFK. In reality, of course, LBJ’s career went on to include both triumphs and the tragic Vietnam escalation that effectively destroyed his presidency. I really liked the wording of the speech given by LBJ (Harrelson) at the near end of the movie. and the Terms and Policies, Thereafter there’s both humor and political urgency in Johnson’s trying to persuade JFK’s young Ivy League circle of aides to stay on and help him make the transition, an effort that includes embracing the Civil Rights legislation that Kennedy had hoped to introduce. With Woody Harrelson, Michael Stahl-David, Richard Jenkins, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. The movie concentrates on LBJ's better qualities, while acknowledging his coarseness, but ignores his revolting nature as the architect of the slaughter of 58,000 American boys. There's a curious moment in "LBJ," the biopic of 36 th US president Lyndon Johnson, when Attorney General Robert Kennedy scoffs about his brother John Kennedy's vice president having adopted the habit of using three initials as his moniker. Check out LBJ critics reviews. In its final act, the film unfortunately devolves toward TV-movie conventionality by ending on the high note of Johnson announcing the legislation that will produce the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the film soon jumps back four years, to his time as a kingpin of the Senate, when his powers are manifest to all. Movie News. 0 Shares 0 0 0 0. The … When the film isn't cracking jokes the film explores Johnson's desire to be liked by the public and fears of rejection but doesn't go far enough to ensure compelling results. Published. By Siddhant Adlakha Oct. 30, 2017. When Kennedy is assassinated, Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird by his side, is suddenly thrust into the presidency. Yet he also understands the Northern position too. User Reviews Rate it! Online reviewers have written 158 reviews, giving LBJ (2017) an average rating of 63%. Reiner has directed some of my favorite films during … LBJ-OK. And the movie does a good job doing so. By Lora Grady. The film’s historical frame represents some interesting choices on the part of screenwriter Joey Hartstone. The movie concentrates on LBJ's better qualities, while acknowledging his coarseness, but ignores his revolting nature as the architect of the slaughter of 58,000 American boys. This early-days biopic isn't quite as good as the Bryan Cranston film All the Way but, along with Tom Wilkinson's performance in Selma, it continues Hollywood's crusade of recasting LBJ's public image. Lyndon B. Johnson aligns himself with John F. Kennedy, rises to the Presidency, and deals with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. [Woody] Harrelson gives an impressionistic performance. As to why “LBJ” wouldn’t try to show both the dark and the light, I was reminded of a director recently complaining of an actor that “he doesn’t understand that not everything is ‘the Hero’s Journey.’”. MRQE Metric: See what the critics had to say and watch the trailer. ... Woody Harrelson steps into Lyndon B. Johnson’s boots beside Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Lady … LBJ (2017) Movie Reviews - Cinafilm has 158 reviews of LBJ from movie critics and film fans. Movie Reviews; LBJ Review: A Bizarre Biopic That’s Entertaining Enough. LBJ Trailer #1 (2017): Check out the new trailer starring Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and C. Thomas Howell! I don't see this movie being a "whodunit" instead just as the name implies it is about depicting LBJ the "politician." October 30, 2017. If I was asked to recommend the perfect short to be studied by young film-makers, it would probably be the 18-minute LBJ. By Jim Castagnera Special to The History Place 11/6/17. Won't be his (Woody Harrelson) fault if you find this endearing, if this slight political biopic falls short. ... a consistently compelling history lesson, which puts the spotlight on a man forced to navigate the country through one of the most pivotal periods of the last century. LBJ. This ends up placing the film in the category of conventional biopic. Rob Reiner’s latest is an awkward stylistic handshake. In some ways, the most important relationship LBJ has in the film is with veteran Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins), who, as leader of the Senate’s Southern caucus, has been successfully opposing all Civil Rights legislation for decades. Here the physical and the verbal prevail over the analytic. ... now on the festival circuit, is a more distinctive movie than "LBJ." The True History Behind the LBJ Movie The True History Behind the LBJ Movie. Movie Reviews TV Reviews Roundtables Podcasts 'LBJ': Film Review | TIFF 2016. Also this movie held my attention from start to finish. Movie reviews for Lbj. But even within this subgenre, Lyndon B Johnson has been a surprisingly recurrent character. The movie recounts the journey of how the most “successful Senate Majority Leader” of all time becomes the 36th President of The United States of America. Indeed “the Hero’s Journey” is one of those rudimentary screenwriting concepts that turns into a blight when it’s over-applied. Throughout these and earlier battles, LBJ is bolstered by the unflinching calm of Lady Bird, who’s brought to life with almost uncanny exactitude in Jennifer Jason Leigh’s fine performance. Though the actor doesn’t have as much physical resemblance to Johnson as did the Bryan Cranston of “All the Way,” and thus must make use of ample make-up and prosthetics, he energetically conveys both Johnson’s blustery personality and evolving internal struggles. We see him commanding a roomful of aides, barking orders, cajoling, cussing, juggling telephones, even playfully threatening a subordinate with castration. ^^ Gemeint ist der neue Film, tada, ihr ahnt es, mit Woody Harrelson, Lyndon B. Johnson, dem Vize, der zum Präsident wurde nach dem Attentat auf Kennedy. That’s a matter of Reiner’s politics, of course, but even more so a matter of his instincts as a popular filmmaker: He’s offering us an American presidency to escape to. In reality, of course, LBJ’s career went on to include both triumphs and the tragic Vietnam escalation that effectively destroyed his presidency. Is LBJ any good? So while providing some enlightening insight into the 36th President ("a sensitive man with an enormous ego," as this film's JFK puts it), LBJ never truly engrosses. Come 1960, Johnson reaches a crossroads when John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) beats him for the Democratic nomination for President. Fortified by vivid, compelling performances from Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, Rob Reiner’s “LBJ” captures a tumultuous political era and one of its most profanely colorful leaders with a good deal of insight and emotional torque. He doesn't look much like LBJ, even after the make-up, nor can he bring his voice to the same low register, but he understands the coyote cunning of the man. ... Synopsis: The story of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson from his young days in West Texas to the White House. As I said there, I anticipated a stately and effective film that I could wait to see until it made it to rental, but was impressed enough by the performances and vision of the piece to check it out. f for no other reason, the changing dynamic of the relationship between Johnson and Russell makes the movie worth checking out. As the nation mourns, Johnson seeks to honor JFK’s legacy by championing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has written for, Spike Lee Receives American Cinematheque Award, America Has to Come to a Reckoning: Director Sam Pollard on MLK/FBI, The TV Homages of WandaVision are an Amusing, Unfulfilling Distraction. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! LBJ is a film that is wholly unnecessary because it’s already been done by way of the 2016 HBO movie… Ratings, review and more on Cinafilm.com The effectiveness of this approach stems from the fact that it centers on the time in his life when, between passages when he exercised enormous influence, Johnson was challenged by being rendered a mere spear-carrier in the glamorous Kennedy retinue. Don't have an account? 'LBJ' review: Woody Harrelson tries on the prosthetic ears. Read full review Directed by Rob Reiner. LBJ is an eye-opening and sensitive look at a man who looked everyone in the eye and fought with conviction and respect to bring a nation together during one of its darkest moments. LBJ Review. In LBJ, Lyndon B. Johnson (Woody Harrelson) decides to run for president, risking his position as majority leader in the U.S. Senate.When John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) wins the nomination, Johnson reluctantly accepts Kennedy's offer to be his running mate.As a southerner, Johnson is expected to help influence other southerners -- especially the powerful Senator Richard … "LBJ" — 2 stars LBJ slips from an examination of a sometimes admirable leader into a hagiographic daydream, a fantasy of a father figure to save us all. LBJ is an historical drama about the political life of Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ review: Woody Harrelson compelling if physically unconvincing in firm biopic. Last week’s trailer round up lit a fire under me for LBJ. He injects pace, energy and colour into a familiar storytelling approach that flicks back and forth across the period. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. Review: LBJ. The LBJ-RFK conflict—with JFK as bemused moderator—continues after Johnson successfully attempts to make the Vice Presidency a greater, more efficacious power base than it has been before, and also faces the rising pressures for meaningful Civil Rights legislation. LBJ regards JFK as a “show horse,” and himself as a “work horse” and therefore more suited to taking on the work of running the nation; so when Kennedy offers him the Vice Presidential slot, he not only has to deal with the ignominy of a de facto political demotion, he does so facing the active opposition of bratty Robert F. Kennedy (excellent Michael Stahl-David), who resents having such a relative rube on the ticket. Read the complete critics reviews & previews for the hollywood movie LBJ only on FilmiBeat. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. 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