LBJ, 2016 film starring Woody Harrelson, Michael Stahl-David, Richard Jenkins and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The sixties civil rights struggle from the White House side of things.
Lyndon B. Johnson (Harrelson) is the focus of the film when he went from Vice President of the United States to President after JFK was killed in 1963. It takes aim at how he went from fierce Southerner to compassionate civil rights leader. With political in-fighting going on in both parties he must find a way not only to heal the nation but to continue on Kennedy’s legacy. To pass a bill that neither party wants, especially his southern allies in Congress.
This was a pretty interesting film and Rob Reiner did a great job at the helm. It showed how, in the fifties and sixties, the American people wanted change. The wanted fresh, younger and newly educated politicians that they could identify with. America was sick of the old, stuffy and ridged politicians that were from a different era.
The film showed how LBJ went from Senator and on through to the Vice Presidency. Most of the film was centered on his time as the Vice President, how his ideals differed from that of the young President’s and the reasoning behind Kennedy giving him the Vice Presidency. LBJ was from the deep south and all of his colleagues that were from there were overjoyed when he became President. They wanted no civil rights for the colored and figured that would be the way it would stay. LBJ however had learned while associated with the young government that the country wanted to move forward with the changing times and so must he.
Harrelson did a very good job portraying LBJ though it must have been uncomfortable with the facial prosthetic’s and makeup on so long each day. The writers did well integrating factual events with what they perceived may have happened behind closed doors. Costume design and scenery/sets seemed to be very period accurate. I am a history buff and would rather watch this type of film, one that recounts the history that we came from and shows us how it was. There are many films that depict the Kennedy era and this takes it’s place among them.
Good job with this film. Not sure if I would put it on my ‘Watch Again’ shelf but it could sit on the stand by section.