October 24, 2008 by  

W.


W.

Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks play George W. Bush and Laura Bush in "W."

Starring: Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Elizabeth Banks
Directed by: Oliver Stone (“World Trade Center”)
Written by: Stanley Weisner (“Wall Street”)

When you hear the name Oliver Stone uttered in the same sentence as the term “political film,” you know you’re bound to get something at least interesting if not critically acclaimed.

As he did with the death of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and life of former U.S. President Richard Nixon in the 90’s, Stone highlights the high and low points of current President George W. Bush during his eighth years in the White House in “W.”

Josh Brolin (“No Country for Old Men”) turns in an outstanding performance as the Commander in Chief and never allows his depiction of Bush to become something that could be confused with a sketch from “Saturday Nigh Live.” Instead, Brolin carries the film and does what most Bush-bashers were probably afraid Stone could do: make the audience sympathize with arguably the most unpopular president in the history of the U.S. At times it might feel like Stone is only skimming the surface, but there is enough substance to puzzle together the makeup of W. from his wild college days to his turbulent relationship with his father Bush Sr. (James Cromwell).

“W.” is a surprisingly even-handed take on the Bush administration and family with some unabashed and creative license by Stone. While Republicans might scream propaganda, “W.” is nothing more than a candid and scrappy political drama laced with some comedic moments. How could you ignore those with W. standing at the podium?

Grade: B-

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