There are some good things to say about this movie and they center primarily around the performances. Josh Brolin worked very, very hard not only to nail George Bush, but to nail him at the different stages of his life and he did an incredibly good job of it. Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney never once made me think of Mr. Holland either. No warm fuzzies coming from him in this movie.
But these memorable performances are the only thing worth going to see in this movie. Only people who enjoy sneering at George Bush for its own sake will get much pleasure out of it, and even they will feel let down more than once, as the movie did try to go beyond caricature.
It didn't do a very good job though. For a George Bush-neutral like myself (I know, I'm a rare breed) it was a great let-down. The only "insights" into his character are furnished by scenes of private conversations that are pretty much by definition, fantasies of the screen writers.
Now, I'm a great fan of fantasy, but only when it is openly fantasy. There is an intellectual dishonesty about shaping a historical or contemporary figure according the whims of the shapers rather according to the rigours of actual evidence that troubles me immensely.
Unfortunately, such niceties have never troubled Oliver Stone.
The movie definitely doesn't hold up as a documentary (and it bothers me a lot to think that many movie-goers will see it as gospel truth when it is almost entirely fiction) and just as damning, it doesn't hold up all that well as a story. I got bored more than once, not able to discern a clear direction, other than the fact that George W. was constantly on the screen.
So, other than some fine acting, this movie was rather a disappointment. But not enough of a disappointment to get me really mad. It wasn't even good at being bad. Meh.
Technorati tags: Josh Brolin, Oliver Stone, W the movie
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