A highly advanced civilization, whose citizens feel no emotion and reproduce by cloning, plans to conquer Earth from the inside by sending an operative, fashioned with a humming, mechanical... See full summary »
It's said that only the very best actors can compete with children and animals, and to this should be listed bright-eyed, cute-as-a-button young newcomers like Adrian Lester, who steals every scene he's in as an idealistic young aide until a larger-than-life Kathy Bates steamrolls her way onto the crowded scene. This film, based on Clinton's 1990 campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, is a fictionalized, not factual, view of the man and his character and ideals, and quite simply one of the best films ever made about the confusing maze that is American politics.
Just as the American media, spurred on by the Republican witch-hunters, rubbed our noses in the dirt surrounding Clinton's indiscretions, the movie doesn't spare Jack Stanton for his moral weaknesses and poor personal judgements, but makes the point that the dirt grubbing and trivializing media are equally immoral in seeking to denigrate a man's political ideals because of his sexual peccadillos. The media is one Enemy of Truth, but the real Enemy of the People, lurking, malevolent and unseen, in the murky shadows at the edges of this film, is the Republican Party, and it's interesting that it takes a British director to take such a decisive stand, as Hollywood has always been reticent to take sides in the Democrat/Republican debate. The point made here, from the testimony of the battle-scarred "true Believers", from the idealistic young party aides, from the would-be President's wife (an uncanny portrayal of Hillary by a dynamic Emma Thompson) and Stanton himself (although physically unlike Bill Clinton, John Travolta gives a very believable performance), is that the President needs to be a man of the people, to be able to understand the people, and to be able to communicate with the people, despite the lies of his opponents and the mud slinging of the media. If America doesn't always get the President it deserves, it's because these very qualities are often blocked by his political enemies and a sensation-seeking media, particularly the television networks. An uninformed Democracy is no Democracy at all, and it's a mark of the inherent strength of the American people and their political system that it has withstood these obstacles, despite the many mediocre Presidencies we have seen in our times.
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