W.

W.

(2008)

Oliver Stone's biopic on the life and presidency of George Bush Jr. stars Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men) as the titular Dubya. This even handed account of what drives the man takes off during his college years when he was fond of the bottle and the shame of the family, through his miraculous rise to President and eventual invasion of Iraq.... More

Bush's entire family and entourage come into play, including Condoleeza Rice (Thandie Newton), Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), Tony Blair (Ioan Gruffudd), Karl Rove (Toby Jones), Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Barbara Bush (Ellen Burstyn).Hide

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Flicks Review

It was inevitable that George W Bush, one of the most controversial and humorous political figures of the decade, would get his own biopic. That Oliver Stone, cinema’s great conspiracy theorist, would be the one to make it was similarly likely. The only shock is that it came out so immediately.... More

There’s really no new ground being covered here with well-documented phases of his life used as focal points, such as his wild college years and, y'know, invading Iraq. What makes them work and seem fresh is the depiction of Dubya at these moments. We’re so used to seeing him as an iconic figure that the treatment of him as a human with both strengths and flaws is a refreshingly different, and at times sympathetic, approach. This might also be the funniest movie Stone has ever made.

The character-based moments, however, are hampered by the way they are pieced together. The flashbacks seem a little pointless – more interested in slick scene transitions than laying out the overarching narrative. Although this is a character study, its rejection of a traditional plot robs some scenes of maximum impact and ultimately leaves you feeling like you’re watching the smashed shards of a quality film hastily re-assembled.

W is an interesting insight into the life of a privileged, rather ordinary guy and how he miraculously became the most powerful man in the world. But despite memorable stanzas, it’s too uneven to be classified must-see.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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This has an odd, almost flat feel and seems to dwaddle a bit in parts... but I still really enjoyed it. It didn't take a side or a strong opinion on Bush, but placed his character in between the two extreme views of him. I guess like they say - the truth is somewhere in the middle.

He's such an interesting character - well meaning yet wildly out of his element. The most amazing thing I kept thinking was how he got voted in!


The Press Reviews

  • W., a biography of President Bush, is fascinating. No other word for it. Full Review

  • Disappointing. Stone whipped this out in time for the US Presidential election, but it’s hard to see how it’ll make any significant impact on voters. Or why it even should. Full Review

  • It's a gutsy movie but not necessarily a good one. Its greatest strength is that it wants to talk about what's on our minds right now and not wait for historians. Full Review

  • W. is not a dispassionate biography; it is an interpretation of personality intersecting with history, and as a piece of drama it is persuasive and perfectly creditable. Full Review

  • The pleasure of Mr. Stone's work has never been located in restraint but in excess, a commitment to extremes that can drown out the world or, as in this film, give it newly vivid, hilarious and horrible form. Full Review

  • The movie is an X-ray of an invisible man -- by the film's end, the W. still stands for Who? Full Review

  • Perhaps it’s just all too soon for this. With key personnel and events fresh in our minds, still appearing on the daily show that is the world news, W. occasionally plays like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. Stone himself has said he felt that if he didn’t make the movie right now, it probably wouldn’t be made for a long time. Maybe, for all the entertainment value, that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. Full Review

  • For a film that could have been either a scorching satire or an outright tragedy, W. is, if anything, overly conventional, especially stylistically. Full Review

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