Stone Picks On Bush in His Latest Movie
October 29, 2008
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Oliver Stone takes a great risk with W. It is different from previous depictions of presidencies directed by Stone. Unlike Oliver’s Nixon and JFK, W. is the story of our current President of the United States. With that being said, the film should have exposed an increased perception of occurrences during President Bush’s time in office. Not only was this superior understanding absent, but major events in our recent history were not covered up to par as well.
This film is a biography of President George W. Bush. The screenplay, written by Stanley Weiser, follows two paths. One is young George’s wild college years leading up to his campaign for Presidency in 1999. The other track deals with the Iraq War and takes place in 2002 and 2003. Scenes alternate between these two tracks throughout the film. Stone depicts Bush as a man who makes a living primarily through family connections and remained drunk until the age of 40. The Iraq War is portrayed as an unnecessary involvement of our country caused by President Bush.
Josh Brolin’s interpretation of George W. Bush was suitable. All aspects of George’s life shown in the film were brought to life by Brolin’s performance. A truthful, perturbed mood sets in while watching George deal with his addiction to alcohol. This film may also, unintentionally, cause one to gain a new respect for George W. Bush after watching him transform into a faithful follower of God or witnessing his love and devotion to the lovely Laura Bush, played by Elizabeth Banks.
James Cromwell does an exceptional job at illustrating George H.W. Bush, although he does not physically resemble the former president. He plays a man who is completely ashamed of his eldest son, George W. Bush. Cromwell’s character is not afraid to confirm this either. He advises George W. Bush not to run for governor at the same time as his younger brother, Jeb. George W. Bush is underestimated by his father throughout the entire film.
There were two major issues that were scarcely brought up in this film: the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the “too close to call” Florida electoral votes in the 2000 election. Both of these events impacted George W. Bush’s life and presidency. They should have been addressed in more depth by both Weiser and Stone.
This film gave a brief recap of George W. Bush’s life from his college years to his controversial verdict to participate in the Iraq War. W. succeeded at portraying George as a sloppy individual and president. At the same time, this movie makes you feel bad for him. His father had doubted George his entire life and the American people didn’t trust his decision to get involved in the Iraq War. In reality, George is just a normal guy who makes mistakes just like everyone else.