Saturday, November 01, 2008
This is a week overdue, but I kept forgetting about it. W. was pretty disappointing.
Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss both turned in really good performances. So did Ellen Burstyn and James Cromwell (though Cromwell was the least like his real life counterpart, in my opinion).
Parts of the movie were funny, with George generally acting like an idiot. But it probably wasn't as funny as it could have been. For one, some of it's just too painful to laugh at right now. George W. would probably be a more likable bumbling boob if he hadn't screwed things up as much as he has. With that said, the movie probably would have worked better if it had gone straight for satire. Thandie Newton's performance suggests she thought that's what the movie was going for.
Surprisingly for an Oliver Stone movie, W. is mostly non-political, focusing on the personal story. With the exception of one scene where Cheney lays out his plan for controlling Iraq's oil and admitting that once we enter the country we're there for good.
I'll give the movie credit for humanizing George W. Bush while at the same time emphasizing some of the things that made him such a lousy leader. But I think ultimately it would have been better to make this movie several years from now, when we all have a little more distance and perspective.