*May Contain Spoilers, Cookies* Stirring biopic of the 40th President and his relationship with his wife, family, friends and the nation. James Brolin and Judy Davis, as Ronald and Nancy Reagan give four star performances, and each worthy of an Emmy nod. It traces their special relationship throughout their heydays in Hollywood, Ron's eventual capitulation to the ideology of the GOP, and the political bug they develop. Also, their sometimes stormy relationships within the family, friends and the political cohorts they attract. One can feel nothing but admiration for Nancy (Davis) Reagan, who defends and protects her husband from some of the murkier characters in the political circle. Donald Regan is portrayed as an absolute fiend, the father of the hair-brained and highly illegal Iran-Contra mess. The actors who portray Ed Meece, James Baker, et al, as Al Haig refers disparagingly as "The Troika," are exceptional and show political cronyism at its best (or worst). Michael Deaver is showed in a sensitive light, despite his legal troubles for lobbying on behalf of Canada and South Korean interests after he left government service. Zoie Palmer, who portrays Patty Reagan, does an incredible job as the misunderstood and oft-ignored daughter. Maureen Reagan's character was tastefully and tactfully created, and Shad Hart gets major kudos for his turn as Ron, Jr. The big bouquets go to James Brolin, who gives his best performance in years, as Ronald Reagan and Judy Davis as Nancy. Brolin embodies the character with fervor and not caricature. We don't get the massive head bobbing and "aw-shucksism" we've grown to be tortured with by bad impersonators. He is a man with a mission, and a kindly fellow at that. We may highly disagree with where he's going, but we've no doubt the man actually believes in the direction he's chugging. Judy Davis fleshes out the character of Nancy Reagan so well, it can make one shudder. She strong as steel, tender as fresh grown flowers and everything else within the mix. The point of mockery at the Washington Press Club, where Ronnie describes it as: "The nicest lynching we've ever attended..." Shows Nancy at her finest, where she meets adversity with an equal hand and a fine sense of humor, to boot. THE REAGANS offers an intimate, though not always complimentary view into the lives of the fortieth President and his lady. It's certainly a fine motion picture, and truly not deserving of the awful, heavy handed attempt at censorship by the Corporate and political power mongers. This kind of disgusting muting of creative thinking hasn't been pulled out of the moth-ridden closet, since America's flirtation with fascism in the McCarthy era. Don't let the stiff armed salute givers or those who wish to build their political empires on the Gipper's legacy give/tell you a bum steer. Watch this stimulating movie, and decide for yourself. After all, it's democracy. We know this might bother some, who are busying themselves with the sanctimonious deification of the man. Yet, we should never fall short of the sight, that he was indeed a man, after all. Roses all around for this movie.
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