More questions than answers are brought up with Oliver Stone‘s W., and not just in terms of the movie’s content, but its creation as well.
Why make a movie about George W. Bush and release it only three weeks prior to the election escorting him out of the White House? That’s the first one that comes to mind, but as the movie plays out you quickly realize there doesn’t seem to be an agenda of any kind, at least not an obvious one, which only reinforces the question. Stone, a liberal more than willing to say his share when asked, treats the subject matter extremely honestly, so honest actually that it feels abridged and lacking guts. Of course, this is coming from someone that has been paying attention over the past eight years, others may be a bit for susceptible…read more[RopeOfSilicon]
There’s no rolling sense of pace holding the film together, instead “W.” aims for an episodic approach to hunt a deeper understanding of what demons propelled Bush from a spoiled young man to the presidency. It’s one hell of a story, yet Stone seems afraid to get his hands dirty. In 1995’s “Nixon,” the director found a particular respectful wavelength to approach a poisonous regime, while keeping a dense psychological framework alive even through the most iconic historical situations. “W.” doesn’t share that same passion. Stone shuffles away from his bag of visual tricks to shoot the picture with startling straightforwardness, eschewing camera pizzazz and editing subtext to stay close to Bush, abandoning all artistic flourishes. It creates an interesting tension at first, especially with so much dead, eerily silent (a minimal amount of music is used for the picture) space allowed for Brolin to deliver career-best work as Bush, but the inertia soon catches up with the film…read more [Collider]
Ripped from Stone’s crazed political perspectives, the story bounces back and forth from W.’s (Josh Brolin) hell-raising youth — drinking and driving, smoking and screwing — to the events leading up to the Iraq War, interspersed with a meaningless baseball metaphor/dream sequence. The disjointed plot line works for W.’s youth, as Stone elliptically cuts the flashbacks to emphasis W.’s alcoholism and over-inflated ego — creating a genuinely unlikable, one-dimensional caricature. Supported by a stream of whiskey bottles and failed careers, the flashbacks’ negative view of W. sets the film up for a full-on assault of an older President Bush. Then, in the blink of an eye, Stone unapologetically cuts to an irate President Bush raging against his cabinet of masterminds that seemingly duped him into an unwinnable war. Why should we care about this lame-brained alcoholic?…read more[WorstPreviews]
The opening scene of the film made the audience and myself laugh as the acting of the look-a-likes are reminiscent of the political skits from Saturday Night Live. Don’t get me wrong, there is some good acting in this film, to a certain extend. Just like Tina Fey can impersonate Vice-President candidate Sarah Palin, Josh Brolin looks, sounds and acts very similar to George W. Bush. Stone reveals that Brolin and Bush’s lives have many parallels as they have both journeyed through similar roller-coaster lives and both have grown up in small-town America…read more[SizzlingPopcorn]
To me, W is a balanced look at the life (as opposed to the politics) of the current president of the United States. I think most left wingers will be dissatisfied because they wanted to see a character assassination movie mocking Bush the whole way through. I think most right wingers will be dissatisfied because the film looks at some of Bush’s shortcomings. But for me, I thought it was a thoughtful, fairly balanced look at the very interesting life of a very interesting man… mistakes, flaws and all. Overall I give W a 7 out of 10…read more[The Movie Blog]