Now that the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton circus has played itself out, I finally saw Elaine May's excellent, under-appreciated rendering of the tale of a thinly disguised American politician and his campaign to become President of the United States. The performances in "Primary Colors" are remarkable. John Travolta does an astonishing impersonation of Clinton without being a Saturday Night Live caricature. Emma Thompson is perfect as his long-suffering wife, always waiting for the other shoe to drop revealing his indiscretions. Kathy Bates deserved her Academy Award nomination as his public relations trouble-shooter. Her not quite over-the-top performance is the heart of this opus. Last, but not least, Adrian Lester is the idealist young African American in charge of his campaign. This impassioned portrayal bodes well to a successful future in films. Mike Nichols has directed Miss May's script with intelligence and humor. See it now, after all the gossiping has died down, for an insightful, entertaining glimpse into the world of politics.
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