"Parkland" is a docudrama dealing with the true events of the John F. Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963 brilliantly spliced with real newsreel footage. I expected more exploration of the conspiracy theories involving his murder, but instead I was given a detailed enactment of the event and the life changing trauma it inflicted through the lens of the Secret Service and trauma surgeons. I found this to be far more satisfying because it allowed me to relate to the story on a human emotional level.
The ensemble of actors in "Parkland" is top notch with gripping turns too numerous to list. This is a film that strongly supports the idea that there are no small parts,only small actors. The presence of every player in this film powerfully lends itself to the intensity of the story. I was particularly struck by Zac Efron's performance as the resident responsible for first trauma response to JFK's fatally wounded body. I felt his overwhelm right in the pit of my stomach. I would also not be surprised by an Oscar nod for Jacki Weaver as Lee Harvey Oswald's mother. She stole every scene in which she appeared in a manner similar to Dame Judi Dench. I was pleased to see an Austin friend, Irene White as a cigarette smoking switchboard operator.Ultimately, this powerful film written and directed by Peter Landesman causes you to face the question of you own mortality and ask yourself the question "If I die today, what legacy will I leave?" No matter what your answer to that question, I am certain that you will be pleased about your decision to see "Parkland".