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W.

Posted on

W.
Sidney Baldwin

W.

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
113 minutes
Limited Release Date:
10/17/08
performer:
Elizabeth Banks, Josh Brolin, Ioan Gruffudd, Thandie Newton
director:
Oliver Stone
distributor:
Lions Gate Films
author:
Stanley Weiser
genre:
Biography, Drama

We gave it a C+

Is there anyone out there, Democrat or Republican, who’s itching to relive the past eight years? Anyone besides Oliver Stone? The agitprop auteur has never been bashful about his political leanings (JFK = good, Nixon = bad), but the George W. Bush of W. comes off as smarmy and simplistic even for him. Racing to write the first draft of history, Stone reduces Bush 43 to a cartoon simpleton — a dynastic black sheep who’s equal parts Lone Star swagger and Oedipal wreck, thanks to the cool and distant Bush 41 (an excellent James Cromwell). While Josh Brolin deserves praise for his spot-on Dubya, the rest of his West Wing cronies feel like barely sketched extras in a half-baked Saturday Night Live skit. Stone gets in his share of left hooks at Bush, an easy target if ever there was one, but his sharpest punches are saved for the EXTRAS, including an audio commentary in which he compares the ex-president to Shakespeare’s Henry V. We get it, Stone. You went to Yale too — and actually studied. C+

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