Jason Clarke takes the lead in this true-life drama which charts the course of a week where it looked like Ted Kennedy’s political career was over. Kennedy (Clarke) was in a car with political campaigner, Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara) when it went off the road into a lake. It took hours for Kennedy to report the incident and by then Kopechne was dead.
Director John Curran’s The Senator (also know Chappaquiddick) is a well intentioned piece of cinema with good performances. It’s not as engrossing as a film of this type should be, but it has a lot of strong elements and it’s a valiant effort to deliver a political thriller with a difference.
The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017, before getting a US release as Chappaquiddick in April 2018. It was released in the UK as The Senator in August 2018 (presumably because nobody knows what or where Chappaquiddick is). It grossed $17.3 million at the US box office and $18.2 million globally.