Admittedly, every role that Bryan Cranston plays makes it seems irresistibly cool. I have declared myself as staunch supporter of him before and again I was not disappointed. His performance on the film All the Way (2016) was world-class. People have been rooting for Dicaprio to get an Oscar for quite some time but when will Cranston get the Academy Award he deserves? Anyways, about the film, we follow Lyndon Baines Johnson’s, LBJ, a Democrat from Texas, career as accidental president after JFK’s assassination in 1963 until his reelection next year. I enjoy taking lectures of American History through such well-made productions. I am no historian or expert on public policy neverthelss LBJ appeared to be deeply interested in the Civil Rights. Side note, the actor who portrayed MLK I think was a bit short of skill compared to the actual political figure and Cranston’s delivery.
Regarding the character of LBJ all the elements that I have been scarcely hearing were there, namely his coarse, abrasive and grotesque nature, the so-called “Johnson way”. Now I am not sure if this is an real quote, but it really cracked me up due it’s insane sexism to the degree it’s just purely humorous, LBJ speaking in Texan accent “… Yep he’s nice. Ya know though who else we’d call nice? Gals will no boobs or ass or personality. I don’t want that nice.” I am certain, however, about the following quote, that it wasn’t in the movie, and I heard it from James Galbraith himself and is concerning Greece: an excerpt from his book “Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice” goes “In April 1697, my father’s intervention with LBJ saved Andreas Papandeaou [future prime minister of Greece] from execution from the colonels. The message relayed by the phone at 2 am was ‘Call Ken Galbraith and tell him I’ve told those Greek bastards to lay off that son-of-bitch, whoever he is.” Indeed, this is truly the man we are talking about!
Coincidentally, since I am at UT Austin the LBJ Library gets now a whole new level of perspective. Have a look!
As a conclusion, I highly recommend this movie. I adored LBJ’s impersonation, there have been funny, emotional and inspiring moments and I learned more about how the American culture was shaped a while ago.