Pronounced “dubya.” Oliver Stone’s diplomatic biopic on our forty-third President (Josh Brolin, a dead-on impression, but where to go with it?) is so careful to avoid bias as to avoid purpose. It barely matches the caliber of a TV docudrama, much less the compensating snickers. In that department, Thandie Newton as Condi Rice takes the cake. With Elizabeth Banks (Laura Bush), James Cromwell (George Bush, Sr.), Ellen Burstyn (Barbara Bush), Richard Dreyfuss (Dick Cheney), Jeffrey Wright (Colin Powell), Scott Glenn (Donald Rumsfeld), and Toby Jones (Karl Rove). 2008.

1.0 stars

— Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

peijeantsai Nov. 6, 2008 @ 11:04 p.m.

Looking for cheap shots at #43? TV commercials paint "W." as a comedy with clips such as Bush's infamous remark, "Is are children learning?" But if you're a liberal looking for one last jab at the outgoing commander-in-chief, you might be disappointed with Oliver Stone's touching biopic of the now lame-duck president. The film is sympathetic but not outright endearing toward George W. Bush, a simple-minded Texan with a love for baseball and partying, thrust into politics through his desperate need to please his demanding father. It's a lifelong losing battle young men can identify with, and Josh Brolin, in the title role, effortlessly portrays this pain beyond his dead-on impersonation of the President. Well made and immensely entertaining, this is more of a portrait/character film than a political film. Stone, however, does delve into Bush's presidency and criticizes the decision to start the Iraq war. (Here, Colin Powell comes out as the sole voice of reason, and is ultimately the fall guy for the administration's mistakes.) Though the likeness is slim, James Cromwell is fantastic as Bush Sr., the forever dissatisfied father. Richard Dreyfuss' performance as Cheney is as downright scary as the real Imperialist warmonger himself.

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