The courtroom drama about a group of 60s radicals in the US, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and full of an all-star cast, recently got on this year’s top movies list by its 5 Academy Awards nominations.

WBUR (October 2020)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced its nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of the films with the most nominations.

These nominations are Best Motion Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Film Editing, Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Cinematography and Best Music (Original Song).

The story is about 8 men who were arrested and brought to trial because of several charges surrounding the Chicago Riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where they were manifesting against the Vietnamese War. 

Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay was highly praised by critics, and so was his cast selection, including recent Golden Globe winner Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong and more. 

“Aaron Sorkin has an uncanny ability to make the most mundane or complicated subject matter not only palatable but entertaining”, wrote critic Matt Neal at his Rotten Tomatoes review, where it hit an 89% approval score.

Chicago Sun-Times (February 2021)

Besides its great cast and well-structured narrative, what makes this film an intriguing drama is its sad, but real similitude with present-day implications, even though it is based on events that happened more than half a century ago. 

It shows the polarization and violent conflict that occur during protests against a democratic government when it confronts popular disagreement. These events happen to be very similar to recent ones, such as encounters between police and citizens, calls for law and order and word of radicals causing chaos on the streets.

There is also a character in the trial that is brought under racism and humiliation at the judge’s behest in some strong visual scenes, where the character is gagged and shackled in front of the whole court. This film plots a different time but with a similar social and political condition.