|View single post by CleburneFan|
|Posted: Sat Oct 18th, 2008 12:30 am||
|Just saw Oliver Stone's new film "W." We saw it at 11:40AM in a theater that can easily hold about 700 people but only baout 30 showed up. Of course, it was very early. What is more interesting perhaps that most of the audience were males of about 30 to 45 years old. Only two of us were women! I hadn't realized that this would be a movie of greater interest to men.
Since mid-summer we had been seeing trailers of "W." They made the movie look really funny and I fully believed it would be a spoof of George Bush. Turns out, it was anything but a spoof. In fact, I didn't see anything particularly funny.
What caught my interest right away was the amazing resemblance Josh Brolin has to George W. Bush and Richard Dreyfus has to Dick Cheney. Thandie Newton had a reasonable resemblance to Condaleeza Rice. Jeffrey Wright was a very convincing Colin Powell. Toby Jones was a pretty good Karl Rove, but I kept recalling Jones as an even more convincing Truman Capote in "Infamous."
The movie consists of many flashbacks and juxtapositions of time, so one has to stay alert to be oriented to the time being shown. But the main impression I am left with in the film is that I did not go expecting a sympathetic picture of George Bush, but I did begin to feel sorry for him because of his father's attitude toward him as a definite inferior to brother Jeb Bush. Jebbie is a PHD, on whom the elder Bush had laid his hopes and dreams. In fact, Stone made it seem that W.'s main driving motivation was to somehow earn his father's respect, but no matter how much he achieved he could not get out of Jeb's shadow.
After the movie Hubby and I talked about our impressions. We felt that George H. W. Bush was shown as a very unlikeable character, driven by ambition and the furtherance of the prestige of the Bush family name with an eye toward history. Barbara Bush is not shown in a flattering light either. We also felt that Stone shows Cheney, so ably played by Richard Dreyfus, to be a true charlatan in his ambition to secure the lion's share of the world's oil for the US.
Colin Powell, who struggled against Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice and Wolfowitz was out-maneuvered by them. As it turned out, however, Powell seemed the best of the bunch at predicting what eventually did happen. Strangely, the movie shows Rice to be rather passive and not a major player in the scenario that unfolded in the White House during the early Bush years.
Josh Brolin really does an incredible job of playing George Bush. The last two years have been very big years for Brolin who has emerged as a compelling actor. (I wonder if he could play John Bell Hood or maybe even Longstreet!)
Somehow I wish Oliver Stone had waited longer to make this film, because I would like a little more of the perspective time brings to history. We still don't really know all the implications of eight years of the Bush administration or how it will blend into or contrast with the next administration. I'm not sure why Stone was such a hurry. Maybe he can do a Part Two in about ten years when W.'s place in history is somewhat clearer.
This movie is certainly worthwhile seeing if you have any interest in the Bush family or the Bush administration and the movers and shakers in it.