W Review: A new side to George Bush
General Release from 7th Nov
It is deeply odd to release a biopic of a man who is the serving President of the United states, yet W., Oliver Stone’s latest film is eerie, surprising and most of all intriguing.
Starring Josh Brolin as George Bush Jr, with excellent supporting performances from the likes of Richard Drefuss as Dick Cheney, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush and an unrecognisable Thandie Newton as a slimy Condaleeza Rice.
This is not so much a tale of an evil boogeyman who took the world to war because he was profoundly, enormously dumb but rather, it is the story of a son who desperately wants his father’s approval.
It opens on the Oval office as Bush discusses with his advisers the infamous ‘axis of evil’ phrase. It is a suitable starting point as there are two stories that shape the film- the war, in which Bush goes from success to failure, counterpointed by the story of his private life- in which he goes from a failure to a success.
A partying, drinking, charismatic man’s man, the young Bush is an alcoholic and trouble maker but somehow Josh Brolin manages to give him an enormously endearing quality so that you find yourself actually just liking this man a lot, despite his flaws.
But therein is the complexity of the film, as no matter how much you may like the man, there is no doubt that history will look upon his presidency as a disaster. Here, Stone gives insight into the man as well as the president. A truly engrossing film and a fascinating story.
By McGee Noble