Saw Oliver Stone’s latest last night; it’s actually surprisingly well done. I was expecting a mega-hatchet job, and it doesn’t come off that way at all. This may be the weirdest comparison you see out there, but . . . to me it almost felt like Henry V gone horribly awry: Bush overcomes his Prince Hal days to attain maturity and ultimately become a wartime leader, but unfortunately ends up fucking everything up once he does so. As a biopic it works, though the best scenes in the movie involve planning to invade Iraq, and the bit where Powell mutters “fuck you” to Cheney is particularly priceless.

Stone makes it quite clear that in his opinion the key to Bush’s character is the Bush Sr./Bush Jr. relationship; W’s rejection by his dad is what causes him to seek the presidency and, ultimately, to overstep himself in Iraq by finishing what his father “failed” to do.  Stone elects to stop the narrative prior to Bush’s re-election, which is an interesting choice given that that’s the central way in which Bush ended up “surpassing” his dad.  Yet given how many chickens came home to roost in his second term, it’s a victory that looks pretty #$# Pyrrhic in retrospect.  No need to worry about the 22nd Amendment this time around.

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2 Responses to “W.”

  1. Brian Says:

    Sorry Dave. Wish I could agree that this movie was “surprisingly well done” but I’m gonna have to ask you to send me $10. What a pile of shit this movie was. With all the data available on the Bush administration (and cash Stone can attract) one would think Stone could have delivered something better than the Lifetime Channel might.

    I got zero new information about Bush beyond there being one more shithead from the Bush clan running around out there (Marvin). But he appears to be no threat beyond sucking on the teat of his family’s connections.

    At the end of the movie I actually felt like Stone was trying to make the case for Bush being a relatively good (but dim) guy that got a crew of yes-men/women and a couple of assholes in his cabinet and ended up wrecking a nation.

    Half of the cable television industry has survived on relatively good content being spoon-fed to them by Bush & Co. That Stone couldn’t come up with something more insightful or at least entertaining is a shame.

    As I understand it, Stone claimed the financing couldn’t be done by the “Big Guys” because they didn’t have an appetite for the risk. I saw no risks taken here and wonder if the opposite isn’t the real truth. They wanted something a little more newsworthy and instead saw pearls and turtlenecks in the script.

  2. Nickie Honeymoons Says: