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
Enjoyable, Provocative - Like Him or Not, W. is Us
Saw W in a preview last night and overall found it engaging, provocative and, frankly, a bit eerie. Of course, because Mr. Bush is still in office, watching re-enactments of critical moments in his administration, still fresh in our memory, has a quality of watching an SNL spoof; one is always aware one is watching actors, and very good ones at that, play the parts of principal figures on the Bush team, leaving a viewer continually comparing the actors' portrayals, make-up, etc, with the real life figures we know from the news. In other words, the film never completely transcends the spectacle of its simulation to feel seamlessly naturalistic. This is hardly a fault of the film necessarily, only the curious timing of its making and release here in the waning months of the Bush administration. (Had the film been made several years from now, no doubt audiences would bring a different. more relaxed, attentiveness to it.) I won't spell out my conclusions on Stone's version of Bush - that for you to discover - however, I will say it is fully appropriate we allow our private and public preconceptions of Bush the man to be challenged and examined. There is more to be said about the man than merely we like or dislike him. After all, we put him in office for eight years, and that says a great deal about us as a nation.
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