For decades Ted Kennedy served in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the people of Massachusetts. He did so largely under a cloud of controversy stemming from an incident that took place in 1969 that always remained shrouded in mystery. Those events are revisited and retold in this week’s new film Chappaquiddick, named after the island where they transpired.
Jason Clarke stars as Ted, the scion of one of America’s oldest and most politically-powerful families and the one anointed as the next to ascend to high office after the deaths of his brothers John and Robert earlier in the decade. After an event honoring the women who worked on Robert’s presidential campaign, Ted and one of the women, Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara) go driving. When the car he’s driving skids off a bridge and into the river he escapes but she drowns and dies. Concerned about how this looks, Ted seems to be less than forthcoming with the truth while the rest of the family circles around him to protect what remains of the Kennedy name and legacy.