‘L.B.J.’ launches Woody Harrelson into Oscar race on November 10

Playing a real-life person is a sure-fire way to get the attention of the actors branch of the academy. Indeed, Woody Harrelson reaped his first Oscar nomination to date for doing just that as the porn purveyor at the center of Milos Foreman‘s 1996 film “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” Now, in “L.B.J.,” he takes on the life of Lyndon Baines Johnson, who became the 36th president of the United States after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Rob Reiner, who directed the uplifting fictional political drama “The American President” back in 1995, tackles this real-life story that centers on Johnson’s unexpected elevation to the highest office in the land. Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the politico’s wife, Claudia “Ladybird” Johnson, while Jeffrey Donovan is seen in flashbacks as the slain president.

Kennedy defied his political advisors when he chose Johnson, who was then the Senate majority leader, as his running mate in 1960. The two men clashed over key issues and Johnson was side-lined for much of Kennedy’s 1,000 days in office. Following his death, Johnson assumes the presidency and sees a chance to push through the landmark legislation on civil rights that had been stalled. To do so, he must win over both the late president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (Michael Stahl-David) and the senior senator from Georgia, Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins).

Electric Entertainment is releasing “L.B.J.” on November 10, just as awards season starts to heat up. What do you think of  this strategy? Make sure to join the discussion on this and more with your fellow movie fans in our forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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