Kennedys, The - Miniseries / Les Kennedys - Miniseries (Bilingual)
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Inspired by one of the world’s most iconic families, this eight-part scripted drama/miniseries ventures upstairs at the White House to chronicle the saga of America’s first “royal” family during the 1960s. Through exhaustive research, THE KENNEDYS provides an intimate look at how Joseph Kennedy, Sr. shaped his sons John and Robert to become two of the most influential men in America’s history. With political events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs and the civil rights movement playing background to the personal stories of the relationships between brother and brother and father and son, THE KENNEDYS details how the two men handled their father, whose ambition exceeded their own, and ultimately made them who they were. THE KENNEDYS recounts the scandal, tragedy, public greatness and private frailty of our nation’s most fabled political family during one of the most momentous decades in history.
BONUS FEATURE: Includes 45 minute featurette The Kennedys: From Story to Film with behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew interviews.
It's not hard to see why the History Channel declined to air The Kennedys after members of America's "royal family" objected to the series' more salacious aspects. To be sure, there are plenty of them: drug habits, mobsters, election fixing, enough philandering to shame Tiger Woods, bad behavior ranging from cynical manipulation to outright cruelty… and Marilyn Monroe. But it's not as if these things haven't been covered at length elsewhere. And in any case, this is hardly a documentary; the eight-part miniseries, which spans the years from just before World War II to 1968, has been variously described, including by the filmmakers themselves, as "history through personality" and "a Greek tragedy," with a dose of hagiography added for good measure. The emphasis on the personal approach (commingled with major political events like the Bay of Pigs debacle, the Cuban missile crisis, and the forced integration of the University of Mississippi) is something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, there's something appealingly juicy about being privy to the private conversations of this very public family; but at the same time, the dialogue created for such scenes is often on the nose ("Men can't say no to me," Monroe says as she tries to seduce Robert Kennedy), melodramatic, and risibly portentous ("I've never been so happy in my life," says Jackie Kennedy to her husband… as Air Force One lands in Dallas on November 22, 1963).
The complete absence of Edward Kennedy--who is never mentioned, let alone seen--is peculiar; sisters Kathleen, Eunice, and Jean are also nowhere to be found. That leaves the primary focus on paterfamilias Joseph Kennedy Sr., wife Rose, sons Jack and Bobby, and Jackie, and the portrayals of these near-mythic characters are among the best ever filmed. Tom Wilkinson plays Joe as a thoroughly ruthless, imperious kingmaker who, after his own and eldest son Joe Jr.'s presidential ambitions are ended (Sr. was fired from his post as British ambassador after disagreeing with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's war policies, while Jr. died in combat), forces the reluctant JFK to enter politics. As Jack, Greg Kinnear beautifully conveys the late president's humor, charisma, and compassion, while Barry Pepper is a revelation as the rebellious but strait-laced and dutiful Bobby, whose principal responsibility seems to be cleaning up after his older brother's many sexual indiscretions (Katie Holmes's long-suffering Jackie is a bit of a cipher, as was the first lady in real life). That these and other performances, including Diana Hardcastle's Rose and Don Allison's Lyndon Johnson, are in the service of material better suited to a soap opera than a serious drama hardly matters; any way you look at it, The Kennedys is compulsively watchable and never less than entertaining. --Sam Graham
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, it wasn't a smear job, and reportedly the History Channel pulled out because the Kennedys put pressure on them. But it also wasn't the great American epic that you would expect -- its stately beginning and exploration of the world-changing effects of the Kennedy administration are marred by a rushed ending and lackluster direction.
The miniseries follows the Kennedy family as John F. Kennedy (Greg Kinnear) is elected as the President of the United States, with the help of his bombastic father Joe Sr. (Tom Wilkinson) and his devoted brother Bobby (Barry Pepper). But JFK had many obstacles, both personal and professional -- he's crippled by a bad back, his father made many enemies, and his marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Katie Holmes) was troubled.
And over the course of his administration, the Kennedy brothers grapple with Cuba, Russia, riots over civil rights for African-Americans, and chasing down the mob. But there are also many personal crises -- drug use, a baby's death, Joe Sr.'s stroke -- that they struggle to deal with, until the shocking assassinations that destroyed both men.
First off: is "The Kennedys" a smear job? Answer: no, it is not. However, it contains a lot of material that the Kennedy family doesn't like to publicize despite its truth: Rosemary Kennedy's lobotomy, the frequent infidelity by Joe Sr. and Jack, the First Family's drug use, and the fact that Joe Sr. wasn't above using crooked associations to get what he wanted.
However, the miniseries is a fair and sympathetic look at the Kennedy clan overall.Read more ›
I'm very interested in everything about the Kennedy's. This mini-serie is really great. The actors are amazing and the story is well built. I've seen the serie twice and will watch it again. Many things have been said and written about the Kennedy's and we have to... in french we say '' trancher ''. But whatever it is, I think that when it's brought to us with so much quality, it's a great pleasure to sit and watch. I recommend '' chaudement '' this serie. :-)
Whatever you see, whatever you hear, whatever you think you know, nothing is ever what it seems. So...
Très satisfait de ces DVD
Most recent customer reviews
respect and kindness shown to Kennedy family when shooting this dramatization of their family events and disappointments. Very interesting and thought provoking. Enjoyed it a lot.Published on Nov. 25 2013 by pam5858
Good price, great series.Saw this on TV but not all at once. Wanted to see it uninterrupted . For anyone interested in the Kennedy's and the acting was terrific.Published on Nov. 25 2013 by Judith H
Big fan of the iconic American family and this series does a good (although short) job of telling their story.Published on Oct. 16 2013 by Anthony Boucher
Mais on me dit que la série est très bien faite.
Que les acteurs sont très bons. Read more