Saturday, 8 November 2008


In keeping with my reviewing just after watching, here is Oliver Stone's new film W.. About the life and presidency of George W. Bush. Still got a lot of back reviews to do, but they are all going to be short as they are gradually slipping from my mind.

Dubya. This film surprised me, in a few ways. The first being that Oliver Stone was able to make what is a rather impartial biography of George Bush Jnr. The second being Josh Brolin's excellent portrayal of the man himself and the third being Thandie Newton- which I'll get to later.

Looking first at the film as a whole, it is well shot, with good costumes, set, acting, everything. But then, nothing really happens. The fact is, that despite all his gaffs and mis-quotes, George Jnr. presidency never really had the excitement of a Watergate or an assasination. At times it begins to feel like sitting through a lecture as we are stuck in the middle of long political debates and discussions. It's just that George W.'s life wasn't really suited to a biopic. As a result of this, Stone tries to focus more on his relations with his father and with God. These sections provide the most interesting moments in the film, dealing covertly with his alcoholism and portraying a very typical American family unit.

On to Josh Brolin. He is in a word, brilliant. I was intially very sceptical when I heard he was attached to the project, however, he does excellently at replicating Bush's mannerisms without having it turn into a characiture. He also succeds in showing a softer side to Bush, in his treatment of Bush's dealings with his wife and God.

Now Thandie Newton, what is she doing with her voice. Admittedly, I've not heard Condoleezza Rice speak that often, but I am pretty sure she does not sound anything like Thandie Newton interpretation. After, just having praised Brolin for avoiding turning his Bush into a characiture, Newton comes along and does a SNL impression. She is usually one of my favourite actresses as well.

Final word, cause there is too much noise and I want to watch Life is Beautiful. Good film, hindered by a bad president on which to make it about. Had Brolin's performance been in a different film, I think there could have been Oscars a calling.


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