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Interview: Aaron Sorkin Chats About ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’

Aaron Sorkin stands alone when it comes to screenwriters. Whether it’s The American President, A Few Good Men, Moneyball, The Social Network, Steve Jobs, or The West Wing (just to name a few), it’s impossible to deny Sorkin’s greatness. Now, with Molly’s Game and The Trial of the Chicago 7, he’s added strong direction to his resume. The latter especially is quite accomplished work, rightly placing Sorkin not only in the thick of the Best Original Screenplay race, but the Best Director one as well. As the film also contends for a Best Picture win, he was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time. He was terrific, too, easy to talk to about the movie, but also quick reverential to those who helped make it the modern gem that it is. For those looking for more on The Trial of the Chicago 7, my interviews with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Frank Langella are here and here.

In my four star rave review (found here), I praised Sorkin’s work, both on the page and behind the camera. He really is firing on all cylinders with The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s truly terrific writing and direction. Plus, he’s given his cast some dynamite material to work with. This is just a small sample of my praise for the man in that review:

It’s not secret that Aaron Sorkin is one of the great writers in Hollywood, but The Trial of the Chicago 7 cements him as a top notch director as well. The editing on display here is the finest of the year, with Alan Baumgarten expertly cutting between the various strands of the story. Sorkin is a confident filmmaker here, trusting that his script is rock-solid and diving in as a fluid director. His storytelling here is vibrant, looking back and forth between narratives and characters with precision. This is Sorkin at the height of his craft.

The visuals from cinematographer Phedon Papamichael are terrific, as well, as is the score from Daniel Pemberton. Anyone who thought Sorkin was still a work in progress behind the camera with his directorial debut Molly’s Game will have a much different take here. Baumgarten, Papamichael, and Pemberton give Sorkin the technical tools to pair with his always reliably strong writing, assured direction, and top notch cast. The results speak for themselves.

Below, you can hear my interview with Sorkin. We talk about how he got involved with The Trial of the Chicago 7 through Steven Spielberg, working with this A-list cast, and more. We even politely disagree about whether or not his script for Charlie Wilson’s War is underrated (I seem to be a bigger fan than he is). Plus, there’s even a little bit of sports chatter, as we’re both long-suffering Jet and Met fans. It’s a short yet pretty fun discussion, so be sure to give it a listen now. Additionally, the film is a must see. So, if you haven’t yet watched The Trial of the Chicago 7, rectify that now. It’s streaming on Netflix and among 2020’s very best works!

Here now is my chat with Aaron Sorkin. Enjoy:

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is streaming now on Netflix!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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