in Review

A Film Not to Be Misunderestimated


Oliver Stone has always been a personal filmmaker in that his films often reflect events that have had a significant impact on his generation. Whether it’s Vietnam, the JFK Assassination, or 9/11 his movies are often unique portrayals of the unpredictable world around him. Sure they’re not always completely factual or don’t always hit on all the key components that made something important but as a filmmaker he’s completely fearless with a strong vision and that’s always something worth keeping an eye out for.

W. is Stone’s latest venture delving into the realm of our countries worst presidency. Penned by Stanley Weiser known in for his screenplays to such films as Wall Street and Murder in Mississippi, we are now given a detailed look at W’s life mixed in with plenty of insight on the mess that is now the Iraq War. As a whole W. is something of a tragic comedy and that’s just the perfect tone for a movie about a man “Misunderestimated”.

Josh Brolin of No Country For Old Men fame dons the lead role of and with a spot on Texas drawl is reason enough to see this underdog story. Along Junior’s road of hangovers and failed commitments we get to meet a lot of other important players in his life, often played to a tee. Richard Dreyfuss is a definite highlight as the cold soul we all know as Dick Cheney. Toby Jones is as well notable as Bush’s puppet-master Karl Rove and the list goes on. Though my friends and I all seemed to agree that Thandie Newton’s exaggerated imitation of Condoleezza Rice was painful, she was the only real weak link.

It seems like there’s an incredible bias from conservatives towards this film saying it’s just a bunch of left wing propaganda but I assure you like Stone’s 1995 film Nixon, it’s a very fair portrayal. Sure we get plenty of scenes of W. stumbling around his words but we also get to see the story of a man that managed to step out of his father’s immense shadow to make a name for himself in politics. Bush more than anything is portrayed in a sympathetic light as a man who wanted to make his mark but wasn’t sure where to go from there. The movie doesn’t make me like him anymore as politician but as just another individual you kind of feel bad for this good ol’ boy.

So should Oliver Stone of waited a bit longer before he made W.? Probably, I’m not sure that this man’s story is entirely over but regardless of that it’s still a fascinating and entertaining film. It may be incomplete but it really makes you think and for that I commend this film. This is probably Stone’s best film of this decade and an important documenting of a very bizarre time in history… Then again who cares about that, in history we’ll all be dead.


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