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W. (I) (2008)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 37,928 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 309 user | 240 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A chronicle on the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

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Title: W. (2008)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Speechwriter #1
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Fraternity Enforcer
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Fraternity President
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Fraternity Pledge #1
Ben Mayer ...
Fraternity Pledge #2
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Oil Worker
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Storyline

Oliver Stone's biographical take on the life of George W. Bush, one of the most controversial presidents in USA history, chronicling from his wild and carefree days in college, to his military service, to his governorship of Texas and role in the oil business, his 2000 candidacy for president, his first turbulent four years, and his 2004 re-election campaign. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

president | texas | oil | college | 2000s | See All (107) »

Taglines:

Get Ready See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bush  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£183,065 (UK) (14 November 2008)

Gross:

$25,517,500 (USA) (28 November 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Appropriately for a film about a President who followed his father into politics, this film features many actors who followed their parents into show business and some of whom have Presidential connections. Josh Brolin is the son of James Brolin, who played Ronald Reagan in 'The Reagans (2003)(TV)'. Reagan was, of course, an actor who went into politics. James Cromwell is the son of John Cromwell, who directed Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940). Colin Hanks is the son of Tom Hanks, who is related to the family of Abraham Lincoln's mother (Nancy Hanks). The elder Hanks was also Oliver Stone's first choice for the role of Nixon (1995). Toby Jones is the son of Freddie Jones. Jason Ritter is the son of John Ritter See more »

Goofs

In boardroom meeting regarding Iraq, set in 2002, Aquafina bottles on the table have a design from 2005. See more »

Quotes

George W. Bush: I believe God wants me to be president!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, you see a Christian cross with a period. It morphs into the W-period logo of the movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.40 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Spangled Banner
Arranged by Francis Scott Key (as Francis Key) and Michael Licari
Provided by APM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Uncomfortable
27 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One word sums up how I felt while watching W: uncomfortable.

I went into this film expecting more of an absurdist comedy than a tragedy. The level of realism was far beyond what I expected. For the most part, the cast, makeup, and casting crew did such a good job with the characters that it was very easy to imagine that these were not actors on the screen but the actual people. Josh Brolin's characterization of W was certainly Oscar-worthy.

Even better than Brolin's part was Phedon Papamichael's photographic direction. The job of the Director of Photography is to bring the story to life through the creation of images to draw the attention of the viewer where the Director wants. Few films are as good of an example of this as W. Papamichael used the camera to force moral and emotional perspective in a way that I have rarely seen outside of the films of Stanley Kubrick. I've only seen the film once, viewing it as a complete work. I intend to watch it again to study the photography.

Overall, I thought the film was fair in its treatment of the actual people involved. The most ardent Bush supporters will not like it, but to still be that supportive of him in the final months of his second term, you either have to not be paying attention or be uncritical in all of your thought. While artistic license was taken throughout the film, the portrayal of all events and people, with the possible exception of Dick Cheney, were far more grounded in reality and recorded history than I expected.

The film made me uncomfortable on multiple levels, which is why it succeeds and deserves such a high rating. The portrayal of Bush's relationship with his parents, especially his father, forces the viewer to feel sorry for him. The overt religiosity that pervades the public service portion of his life must anger anyone who believes strongly in the separation of church and state. There are many moments when, with any other characters, the film should have generated much laughter. Only one moment in the film actually caused more than one person in the theater to laugh. I guess 4000+ dead soldiers drains the humor out of even the most hilarious gaffes.

I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to see a realistic portrayal of historical events. I wish Stone had waited until Bush was out of office to make it, though. While it captures the major events that were involved in building the Bush legacy, it ends far too early.


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