A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.
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Senator Jay Bulworth is facing speculation-induced financial ruin, so he puts out a contract on his own life in order to collect a large, new insurance policy for his family. Living each moment on borrowed time, he suddenly begins spouting raw, unfiltered--and sometimes offensive in word but satirical in spirit -- thoughts to shocked audiences and handlers in the speech of hip-hop music and culture. His newfound uninhibitedness and new relationship with Nina carry him on a journey of political and spiritual renewal.Written by
Third and final of three cinema movie collaborations of actor Jack Warden and actor-writer-producer-director Warren Beatty. The first was Shampoo (1975) and then the second was around three years later with Heaven Can Wait (1978). These two 1970s films brought Warden to the peak of his acting career as he displayed a flair for comedy in both Shampoo (1975) and Heaven Can Wait (1978). As the faintly sinister businessman "Lester" in Shampoo (1975) and as the perpetually befuddled football trainer "Max Corkle" in Heaven Can Wait (1978), Warden received Academy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actor for both pictures but did not win the Oscar for either movie. Finally, Warden then later appeared in Beatty's Bulworth (1998) around twenty years after Heaven Can Wait (1978), portraying the character of "Eddie Davers". See more »
When Bulworth is ordering the hit, Vinnie's lips don't match his words. See more »
A politician has nothing left to lose.. so why not speak the truth? Warren Beatty's Senator Jay Bulworth lays down the smack: the reason the working man (in this movie, the working class is cleverly disguised as hip-hop mavens) doesn't have a voice, is he doesn't have the sway or monetary bullocks to *buy* a voice. Words aren't worth a penny unless you're worth billions. And of course, from the first instant, this divine fool's failure is certain and imminent: Big Business, what with its grimy fingers perpetually immersed in the U.S. Government's proverbial tub of crunchy Jif, would never allow a politician like Bulworth to succeed, at the risk of the working class' newfound capacity to leech the power from the insurance companies and tire manufacturers.
Beneath the sometimes dark comedy, Bulworth has a lot of insightful and painful comments to may about our often hypocritical and ineffectual government. These observations are made satirically, but effectively. This is not a heavy-handed work. One thing that hampered Bulworth at the box-office was its portrayal of the man in the black community. People didn't get it. They were offended, especially many liberal white people. Beatty was in no way making fun of African-Americans by showing a very streetwise group. His point, which I thought was fairly obvious, was that many people will behave in an antisocial way in a society that is largely indifferent and often hostile towards them. I think that's almost a no-brainer. Bulworth is that rare politician who has soul. I agree that Warren Beaty's rapping was sub par, but who cares? "Bulworth" makes a powerful statement that in order to transcend problems of crime, poverty, racism, and political corruption we are going to have to take a cold hard look at who we really are and what is really happening around us. Accepting other people particularly from different racial and economic backgrounds has to be more than just an insincere speech act. It must be an act of good will that is grounded in practical reality.
Overall rating: 8 out of 10.
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