Saturday, October 18, 2008



Josh Brolin: G.W. Bush, forty-third President of the United States
Scott Glenn: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Jeffrey Wright: Secretary of State Colin Powell
Thandie Newton: National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Richard Dreyfuss: Vice President Dick Cheney
Toby Jones: Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove
Vincent Kartheiser: speechwriter David Frum
Elizabeth Banks: the president’s wife Laura
James Cromwell: former President George Herbert Walker Bush
Ellen Burstyn: his wife and mother to W
Bruce McGill: C.I.A. director George Tenet

This is a straightforward biography of George W Bush ending in 2004, a year after the invasion of Iraq. It has a ring of truth about it despite skipping over some major issues (his service with the Air National Guard for one). The official website indicates that some “creative liberties were taken for the benefit of the narrative” but for the most part it seems consistent with well-documented facts.

The acting is uniformly excellent and casting has done a great job. Many of the actors physically resemble the real personage although we do have to make a mental shift for some (Rumsfeld and the elder Bush for example). But the one who’s bang-on is Dreyfuss: he has mastered the voice, the facial tics and even the sinister look of the real thing. Brolin comes a close second in his portrayal of the President.

Although a tad long at two hours and nine minutes it doesn’t seem like it. The one word I heard most frequently mentioned by others upon exiting was “interesting”. That it is.

for language, sexual references, alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing images of warfare.

 During the roundtable meeting while everyone else is eating pecan pie the President’s glass is less than half full except for one scene when it fills itself only to revert to the previous level in the shot following.
 Although he had given up drinking in several scenes after that W has a beer in hand: this could have been a dandy nit-pick except for the fact it’s a non-alcoholic brand of beer called O’Doul’s…drats!

The person maintaining the movie marquee got a break on this one.

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