Thursday, November 27, 2008
Oliver Stone has done a remarkable job documenting past Presidents. In "W.", he chronicles the life of a president while still in office and misses the mark of his earlier films.
W. is interesting enough, giving the viewer insight into what makes Mr. Bush tick and showing us the uneven road his life has taken to the White House but it is little more than a TV movie of the week missing much of the bombastic style Mr. Stone is best known for.
The cast is uneven. Josh Brolin as "W." is wonderful. He captures every nuance, every gesture, of Mr. Bush perfectly and at times truly resembles him. Richard Dreyfuss is a perfect Dick Cheney, also getting the mannerisms correct. Also well cast are James Cromwell as George Bush SR., Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush, Scott Glen as Donald Rumsfeld, and Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush. Missing the mark are Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell and Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice.
The script cherry picks important moments in Mr. Bush's life (did we need the pretzel choking scene?) and range from satire to drama with a little "fairy tale" thrown in for good measure.
Once Mr. Bush leaves office, I'd like to see Mr. Stone try it again and not hold anything back.