The Trial of the Chicago 7 Feels Like Now
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Written by Aaron Sorkin
It’s baby boomer nostalgia written and directed by our favorite walking and talking baby boomer: Aaron Sorkin.* But this is baby boomer nostalgia that all generations should catch up with because holy cow, the parallels with today. This film has a tight script,** great performances,*** and manages to balance ten-plus main characters in ways that let them have their moments.****
The verdict: Recommended
Cost: Netflix monthly fee ($8.99)
Where watched: at home
Consider also watching:
- Inherit the Wind
- Primal Fear
- 12 Angry Men
- Anatomy of a Murder (interesting just to compare then and now)
- Witness for the Prosecution
*You know, walking and talking like in The West Wing. I had hoped that Sorkin was born after 1965 so I could have said: …baby boomer nostalgia written by everyone’s favorite Gen Xer that includes political parallels that will seem familiar to the millennials and Gen Z-ers. But alas. Sorkin was born in 1961 and he’s too old to be a Gen Xer, so no dice with that sentence.
**The intro of the many players is handled in a robust and amusing fashion.
***Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman are the main players, and to my great surprise Hoffman was played by Sacha Baron Cohen. I had no idea!
****I liked seeing the different approach to protesting that the various groups brought. It’s common to hear about “the protesters” during the 60s, but they didn’t act as one body.
- What part of this film reminded you of today?
- Which of the seven (eight) did you identify with most?
Favorite IMDB trivia item:
Sacha Baron Cohen admitted he was terrified of having to do an American accent for the film. He had used a few different variations of the accent before for comedic reasons, but never for a dramatic role. He knew Abbie Hoffman had a unique voice, having a Massachusetts accent but also having gone to school in California, and was worried he would “sound wrong.” Aaron Sorkin had to reassure him that the role was “not an impersonation, but an interpretation,” which Baron Cohen claimed did not help much.
Other reviews of The Trial of the Chicago 7:
- Stephanie Zacharek, Time
- Lindsey Bahr, Associate Press
Having lived through the summer in Portland where the feds came out to suppress the protesters and made everything worse, all of the protest scenes reminded me of today.
The lack of women in this film gave me no obvious people to identify with (though I probably would have been that woman setting the salad on the table) I would like to think I was like Rennie Davis, quietly adding names to my list of dead soldiers.
Oh the sixties. What a time. Being a war baby, I was pre baby boomer, I was an older college student on the edge of a new, and gigantic generation taking over. As the protests raged around me, I stuck with my eye on the prize, a college education. This movie was a reminder of what was going on in America from the mid sixties until the end of the Vietnam War. The rose colored glasses came off. The America I knew was gone. How sad to see the good thrown out with the bad. I really miss the good that was America. America is now at another crossroad. Will she continue to decline until she is completely gone. VOTE.