Monday, July 31, 2017

All The Way (With LBJ)


All The Way (with LBJ):

Finally, finally we, I and Mrs Basman, watched Brian Cranston in All The Way, about LBJ's first year as President after Kennedy's death.

I think he and it are just terrific.

His acting led me to forget I was watching an actor and made me think I was watching LBJ in all his passion, earthiness, personal political brilliance, distresses and successes given the problems he faced and. the solutions he devised and generally how he balanced ideals with the art of the possible.

In a phase, Cranston's acting got me to suspend disbelief. 

I learned new things too. I simply wasn't aware of the potential problem LBJ faced with Southern states walking out on him and the Democratic Party at the Democratic convention over the demand that the Mississippi delegation be integrated. 

I thought I detected one brilliant dark touch in the movie. In the short scene that included McNamara, Humphrey and Johnson himself and involves Johnson, over Humphrey's impassioned position otherwise, on the spur of the moment okaying a retaliatory strike for what, as the scene has it, may or may not have been an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. 

In that decision, as I saw it in the movie, is the beginning of the end of Johnson politically as the combination of Vietnam and his bad health led him out of the 68 race. And, as I further saw it, that dark moment is implicit in what qualifies Johnson's exuberance at thrashing Goldwater, that as sure as the sun rises in the morning, as he says, the knives will come out in the morning.

There are a few nits I suppose I can pick, but why: it's overall so excellent.

I'd give it 5 out of 5. Just great.

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