Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Went to see Oliver Stone's 'W.' tonight. It wasn't nearly up to par for Oliver Stone, unusually linear and quite simply shot and put together. There was some talk that it was a bit of a rush job to have it finished before the election, and there is certainly some evidence for that. It lacked any of the pizazz you'd expect, but was however quite interesting for those behind-the-scenes war room cabinet meetings. Kind of strangely stale and flat compared to, for example, The West Wing (which I've never watched properly), but it was interesting to see those characters that caused so much shit and disaster for the world-at-large to be represented on the big screen.
Some dodgy vocal performances (okay Thandie Newton looked uncannily like Condoleezza Rice, but what's the deal with her voice?!) threatened to turn the whole thing into the pantomime, and while its quite sympathetic to Bush, it felt like it really simplified everything too much. I refuse to believe he didn't have many more people as well as Carl Rove telling him exactly how and why he was corrupting the US - his thoughts could not possibly have been as noble as 'doing the job'. The father/son thing was done better in Alexander.
Also, I kind of think Josh Brolin through no fault of his own just doesn't look dumb enough. He has too much charisma to play a convincing moron, though his efforts are pretty good. It was always something I found fascinating about Bush, just the look in his eyes bely a deeper stupidity. In fact, you can nearly see the rabbit in there working the controls.
W. isn't exactly ground-shaking Hollywood fare (this from the same man who gave us the momumental epic Any Given Sunday), but more of an interesting companion piece to a thoroughly enjoyable election season. Oh yes and a disasterous White House administration.

It was also funny how Stone and writer Stanley Weiser managed to fit in all the classic Bushisms over the course of the movie, sometimes painfully so. (Though you may miss the 'misunderestimated' one). Of course, this is why we love him.

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