Do not miss this movie.
It will be getting Oscar nominations.
The news it tells may not seem as powerful as the real life we are bombarded with today, but in 1969 the federal government charged seven people with conspiracy and other things after protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" is a perfectly composed movie that doesn't let up. Streaming on Netflix now, it is the powerful storytelling of mastermind Aaron Sorkin. Anything this man does turns to gold and becomes memorable viewing classics. As with all his projects, the script, acting and stylistic look work in sync like a masterful symphony.
This movie is beyond timely with the horrible topic of the Presidential election and rioting but Chicago 7 is based around the Viet Nam War. (I recommend you don't read too much about this story and go in with an open mind to follow the path of the script. Let the events unfold in front of you with little knowledge of the detailed history. Will be more enjoyable. Then, after you see it, research to your hearts content.) As usual, the carefully crafted cast Sorkin assembles hits it out of the ballpark and the screenplay will get an Oscar Nomination I predict (and likely a win, though we haven't seen all the films yet of course.)
Here's the mini history:
At the Democratic Convention, seven men were put on trial after rioting and police moved in. The characters; Yippies leader Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) whose performance will likely get an Oscar nomination, Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), Black Panther Chairman Bobby Sease (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II,) Viet Nam anti war activist David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) the judge (Frank Langella) who might get Oscar attention and prosecutor (Joseph Gordon- Levitt) who delivers Sorkin's renowned razor-focused fast barreling verbiage perfectly, Mark Rylance who stands out playing counselor William Kunstler who goes at it with Langella's judge.
Actual riot footage is used in the film but it's not a war film. We see war scenes but character development comes first so we get enmeshed into each character. And as we have come to love, in pure Sorkin style the drama is interspersed with clever levity, especially with scenes with the judge.
The camerawork is always part of the storytelling and in this one, as with all Sorkin projects, it adds to the momentum. The cast as a whole is notable individually but also as a team. Just like "The Newsroom" on HBO and "The West Wing" on NBC, fans won't be disappointed.