February 28, 2009

#018: W.

I have to admit I was very intrigued when I heard Oliver Stone was going to direct a movie about George W. Bush. With all the controversy that has surrounded W.'s presidency, I thought for sure this would be a very thought-provoking film. One can come at George W. from a lot of different angles. I was afraid this film was going to be a vehicle for releasing the collective liberal frustrations that have been building over the past eight years.

Right from the start the acting really stuck out to me. The first scene played more like a SNL skit than a serious piece of art. Condoleeza Rice was horrible. Each time she was on screen I cringed at how bad it was. Colin Powell was almost as bad, but he actually grew on me as the movie progressed. However, Condoleeza was cheesy and over-acted from beginning to end. Whoever that actress was should never get another role. I guess it isn't completely her fault; somebody should have told her how bad it was and helped her fix it. In the grand scheme of things those characters don't make or break the movie. The real test is whether George himself is believable. At first I wasn't sure about Brolin's W, but a few minutes into it I was completely buying it. His performance alone made this movie worth watching. If Brolin didn't do a great job, this movie would have been turned off in the first 15 minutes.

For most of the movie I was trying to figure out what the point was. I guess Stone was just telling us a story of what might have happened, rather than trying to make any political statements. I actually liked that about the movie, it just wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting, and hoping for, a lot more depth than what there was. It turned out to be be much more of a "fluff piece" than I thought. I am sure they put a lot of money into making this film, but I don't know what they were trying to accomplish. We already knew W. wasn't a eloquent speaker, so I hope they didn't spend all that money to show us that. It came across more as series of scenes strung together instead of a cohesive film with a clear message. It was a fine movie to watch, but ultimately forgettable. When I think of it the only thing I will remember is how pissed off I got when Condoleeza was on screen.


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