The Trial of the Chicago 7

Zingy and wordy as ever, Aaron Sorkin conducts a great cast in this reconstruction of events I didn’t know at all, when the Nixon administration tried to throw most of the prominent “counter culture” leaders in jail following a riot protesting the Vietnam war outside the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968.

I enjoyed it, it’s on Netflix and in cinemas and is well worth a watch. I love a courtroom drama, and this is a good one. Eddie Redmayne is on watchable form as Tom Hayden, Sacha Baron Cohen is arrogant as usual but it works for Abbie Hoffman, leader of the Flower Power movement and you’ve got Mark Rylance as a big friendly lawyer. Frank Langella, however, steals the whole show as the eccentric Judge.

Yes, you do get to thinking the film should really about the treatment of Black Panther leader Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen), but he gets shockingly treated and summarily dismissed halfway through, as he did in real life. Shame, as the film’s energy dips when he goes, but there’s enough to chew on (despite the lack of any female characters) and get liberally inflamed about and certainly plenty to relate it all to our own times of unrest and culture war.