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The political career of Woodrow Wilson is chronicled, beginning with his decision to leave his post at Princeton to run for Governor of New Jersey, and his subsequent ascent to the Presidency of the United States. During his terms in office, Wilson must deal with the death of his first wife, the onslaught of German hostilities leading to American involvement in the Great War, and his own country's reticence to join the League of Nations. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
Before I really get into the meat of this film, specifically why I wasn't impressed by it, I want to first mention what I liked about it. It was a gorgeous movie to view. The film wasn't afraid to use lush colors, especially in scenes in the White House's Blue Room. I also liked the use of period newsreels juxtaposed with (then) current, black and white footage of the actors. This movie was pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, it was not so pleasing to the ear and mind.
There's really not much to Wilson from an intellectual point of view. It gives a very school book depiction of the man as the Ivy League President turned United States President. You can tell they tried to humanize him by putting a great deal of emphasis on his relationship with his family (especially in the first half), but in general the 28th President came off as dull and overly pious. I applaud Alexander Knox's effort, but it came up short for the most part. In general, the depiction of the characters came off as two-dimensional, cliché and generally hokey.
When you factor that along with the overly sappy score consisting of "heavenly" choirs and slow, orchestral strains of patriotic tunes and terrible pacing (the movie was a little over two and a half hours, but it felt much longer), it's no wonder why it bombed at the box office. In an era when audiences had a much higher tolerance for over sentimentality, this one pushed it too far.
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