Ethel

2012

Biography / Documentary

93
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 599

Synopsis


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97 min
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English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
97 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rbsteury 9 / 10 / 10

Engaging Biography of a Woman with Few Faults

I just saw this at the Traverse City Film Festival. I am not a Kennedy aficionado, having some reservation about the morals of the family. But what I learned about Ethel made me admire her as possibly one of the great political wives of my time. Directed by her youngest child, Rory, the film primarily consists of an interview of Ethel and input in similar fashion from her remaining children. Ethel is a delight; funny and insightful. Supplemented with a great deal of historical footage, it is obvious how much she loved Robert and how she influenced first him and then, after his assassination, their children. Her life was devoted to her husband, her family, her strong faith and her feeling that she had an obligation to give back to her country for her high-born status. But in addition to this, she could be acerbic, comedic and at times outrageous resulting in several political embarrassments for Robert when he was yet living. She makes few apologies. She is a real national treasure and this film gives a great appreciation for her life of quiet dignity and service. Don't miss it.

Reviewed by barryrd 10 / 10 / 10

A great anchor for her family

This is an amazing documentary, based on an interview with Ethel Kennedy, the wife of Robert Kennedy. It has extensive film footage of the public and private lives of the Kennedy family, particularly Robert and Ethel's; however, there are many views of the extended family. The interviewer is Ethel and Robert's youngest child, Rory. She does an excellent job of letting the viewer see her mother as a woman who has lived a full life with all its pain and joy. I never really knew Ethel Kennedy, although she was always a fixture in the Kennedy clan. After seeing this movie, I was moved by her honesty, her lack of pretense and her love for Bobby. She laughed at her hijinks, throwing a party for President Kennedy where the entire Cabinet ended up in the pool, or taking off on a scooter and crashing it during a trip to Rome. She talked about their two families and how they got along very well, despite being totally different. After Bobby's death, Ethel raised her children to be acutely aware of the poverty and hardship in the country and how important it is to work to overcome this divide. Her frankness was disarming. When asked about Bobby's climb of Mount Kennedy, named after his brother President Kennedy, she said, "He hated it". But he felt it was a challenge he had to take on. It was also clear that Ethel's faith is very deep and that she sees the tragic events as moments that all must encounter. In the meantime, we do what we can because we never know how long we have. Ethel Kennedy has had a long run and has done very well coping with her roller coaster life. After watching this documentary, I felt great admiration for her. I learned much about Ethel and her late husband, who I have always admired. I would gladly see this film again.

Reviewed by GoldmundX 10 / 10 / 10

Goose bumps Galore

An amazing documentary, intimate, legendary and inspirational. The Kennedy family's history is truly without comparison: the hope, the tragedies, the passion, the idealism, the hard clashes with reality, the bonds of tragedy and love, I dare say that it is impossible to experience life more intensely than this family has. And then Ethel stands tall through it all, an amazing woman, wife and (grand- )mother, with her unfaltering smile. If it wasn't for their passion for politics and the family fortune, the Kennedies could have made a fortune in toothpaste commercials. Apparently Ethel sat behind Obama in 2008 at a funeral, whispering in his ear: "the torch has been passed to you". How about them goose bumps?

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