Tommy Lee Jones
One thing that really stands out in JFK is the manner by which Stone uses many different approaches and styles in shooting the film. He uses actual flashbacks, theoretical flashbacks, quick & timely editing, different film stocks (8mm, 35mm, 16mm) and actual footage from that fateful day on November 22nd. All this helps to convincingly pull you into the world of conspiracy and confusion that Stone wants to project. By doing this, the director manages to put you right in the shoes of Garrison, and like him, you struggle to separate the folly from the fact. There is no black & white in this movie, it’s all just a wonderful shade of gray. And so you feel like a participant in the investigation, so much so that your range of emotions will fluctuate from satisfaction, disappointment and frustration over and over again.
The final scene in the courtroom in which Costner gives his powerful and incredibly moving speech manages to encapsulate the film’s message perfectly. Easily one of the most emotionally honest and compelling scenes I’ve ever seen. From its stellar cast (Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pesci, Donald Sutherland, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, John Candy), rousing score and creative direction, to the way it entertains and educates, this is one of those rare films that will disappoint but a miniscule few. Perfect is the only word that comes to mind.
Documentary: Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy: If the movie doesn’t satisfy your enquiring mind enough, then this documentary is right up your alley. This is a thoroughly compelling 90-minute documentary that delves even deeper into the case, from real-life testimony and footage from many of the characters portrayed in the film, to the reporters and witnesses who were there the day of the shooting. There are opinions from those who think Stone’s JFK is nothing but propaganda and others who think he’s done a brave and honorable thing by bringing this different interpretation of the happenings out in the open. Some classic footage of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jim Garrison, Jack Ruby, Clay Shaw et al. is another one of its great highlights. The director and many of the actors from the film also chime in with their impressions and experiences on the film and the actual tragedy. A remarkable addition to this 2-disc Special Edition DVD set.
12 Deleted/Extended Scenes: Most of these are extended scenes already existing in the film with a few scattered ones that didn’t make the cut altogether. Worth checking out, if only for Stone’s optional commentary in which he expands more about the film and the scenes in question.
Multimedia Essays: A couple of features that expand more on the ideas brought up in the film. The first: “Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty” lasts about 10 minutes and has Prouty (the man on which Sutherland’s Mr. X character was based) providing some of his impressions on the conspiracy theory explored in JFK. The second, “Assassination Update – The New Documents”, is a half-hour long ditty that focuses on some new findings and reports released after JFK’s release. More great fodder for conspiracy buffs.
Theatrical Trailer, Cast & Crew Info, Awards and DVD-ROM Features.