Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Thoughts on ‘W’ as Movie, History, and Politics

posted by Nell Minow

Movie review from Dana Stevens of Slate:
Neither satire nor biopic, the film is a kind of secular pageant, enacting with dogged literality the well-known stations of the cross of Bush’s life: the 40th-birthday hangover-turned-religious-conversion! The near-asphyxiation by pretzel! Mission accomplished! “Is our children learning?” The moments scroll up the screen like the song titles on one of those greatest-hits collections advertised on TV. The movie is done in the broad strokes and primary colors that are Stone’s trademark–lest you’ve forgotten JFK, this is not a filmmaker of nuance–but the net effect is both satisfying and strangely cathartic to watch.W-poster-sml.jpg
My enjoyment of this film hovered perilously close to camp at times. Stone’s musical choices lay it on particularly thick: He accompanies a party scene during Bush’s drinking years with the Freddy Fender song “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and scores the fall of Baghdad to the marchlike rhythm of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” But if Stone’s portrait of George Bush is laid on with a trowel, maybe it’s because God seems to have engineered the real Bush’s life with a similarly crude sense of irony. W. is a case of biographer and subject being perfectly matched: You really don’t want a Bush biopic directed by Jean-Luc Godard (though Robert Altman could have done something interesting with it if he were still around). Like Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, Stone’s George Bush gets his best lines straight from the source. This movie was scripted by screenwriter Stanley Weiser (Wall Street) but was ghostwritten by history itself.
Slate political columnist Timothy Noah talks about what they left out:
W. is the rare Oliver Stone film that had to tone down the historical record because the truth was too lurid. How the hell do you tell the uncensored story of a guy like George W. Bush? No one would believe it.
Stevens and Noah have a great conversation about the movie on the weekly “spoiler special,” which can be accessed via iTunes.


Critic David Edelstein says on NPR:
You know things aren’t going well for a Republican president when the best thing that happens to him in ages is a biopic by the famously left-wing Oliver Stone that depicts him not as reprehensible — as Michael Moore has — but as an earnest boy-man with daddy issues.
Let’s give Stone points for trying to get into the head of W, played by Josh Brolin: The film is more effective for its measure of sympathy. As in his biopics of Nixon and Alexander the Great, Stone comes not to mock but to dramatize the nexus of personality and great power. If nothing else, W is an honest effort. It’s too bad it’s lifeless — a rhythmless hash of flashbacks and tinny dialogue.
The President’s brother, Jeb Bush, did not like the movie:
The Oedipal rivalry is high-grade, unadulterated hooey,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told The Washington Times.
Several outlets fact-checked the movie, including MTV and the New York Post, which dryly noted:
Despite the director’s well-known lefty leanings, Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser have managed to make George W. Bush, dare we say it, sympathetic.



Previous Posts

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.