Tuesday, March 03, 2009

 

It seems to me I've heard this song before


By Edward Copeland
Without much enthusiasm, I finally watched Oliver Stone's W. a few days ago. From the clips I'd seen, Josh Brolin looked quite good, but having just escaped the hell of the eight years of the real Bush administration, I wasn't anxious to revisit it in fictional form. It's as if someone had given me a copy of Michael Bolton's Greatest Hits. I didn't like it the first time, why would I want to hear it again?


Still, I bit the bullet and did it anyway and found much of what I expected to find. Brolin was uncanny at times in his mimicry. Stone defied expectations by trying to paint a somewhat sympathetic portrait of the former president as a man who could never make his cold father happy. You know what? I could give a rat's ass what Dubya's psychological underpinnings are after what he put my country through.

Stone's film only focuses on the buildup and execution of the Iraq war, showing admirable restraint by skipping Dubya's skirting of Vietnam service. The problem is that pretty much everything depicted in the film is something I either knew or that I could recognize as a fudge.

Granted, sometimes you have to condense characters but where were Andy Card or Karen Hughes? Why was Karl Rove in a meeting with Bush 41 for his 1988 presidential campaign but there was no Lee Atwater character? Finally, what was this film's point?

When Stone re-creates the moment in a news conference when a reporter asked Dubya how he thought history would treat him and he replied that we'd all be dead, it sort of tells the truth and undermines the film.
It's too soon to have a really interesting, vivid take on one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, let alone rushing to get a film out that was released before the dunderhead even left office.


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Comments:
I think you have a good point, but I think W is much less relevant now than it was a few months ago because more has leaked out about the Bush administration.

I think it was really interesteng at it's time of release.
 
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