W.

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Oliver Stone
  • Cast:Elizabeth Banks, Josh Brolin, Richard Dreyfuss, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton
  • Release Date:February 26, 2009
  • Distributor:Hoyts
  • Running time:131 minutes
  • Film Worth:$13.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

“…funny, fast paced and highly enjoyable…”

3b4eb601b2ab981d6f3c.jpg

When it was first announced that ageing enfant terrible Oliver Stone was making a biopic about George W. Bush, that most maligned of American Presidents, the response was similar to the one that greeted the director's previous film, World Trade Center: what the hell would he do with such volatile material? Would this be the most controversial film of his controversial career? In both cases, the answer is a resounding no. In tackling such recent, ripped-from-the-headlines, obviously divisive material, Stone seems to have almost shut himself out of the game. Because of the enormity of the subject matter, Stone feels a little bowed, as if he intentionally doesn't want to do what everyone thinks he'll do: namely, go to town on the material. That said, W. remains a funny, fast paced and highly enjoyable experience.

At the film's centre is the brilliant Josh Brolin, who really gets under Bush's skin, first as a hard drinking, carefree college boy, through to his religious conversion, and onto his Presidency, where he stalks The White House like the new sheriff in town. Brolin finds all of the humour, uncertainty and occasional idiocy of this complex man, who's portrayed as something of a desperate dreamer, always struggling to find his niche. W's competitive, love-hate relationship with his father, George Bush Sr. (James Cromwell), provides the real grist of the film. Stone's depiction of the US political scene, meanwhile, is expectedly corrosive, with nepotism, self aggrandisement and avarice well and truly driving proceedings.

Tonally, W. is a little adrift, and the performances range from the excellent (Richard Dreyfuss as a Machiavellian Dick Cheney, Toby Jones as a puckish Karl Rove) to the flat-out bizarre (Thandie Newton's Condoleezza Rice is jarring, to say the least). More character piece than the expected tragedy or parody, W. is surprisingly good fun.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

Screen Australia Backs ‘International’ Features
Screen Australia Backs ‘International’ Features

A number of local features with an international flavour have snagged funding support.

Toronto International Film Festival Unveils 2014 Line-up
Toronto International Film Festival Unveils 2014 Line-up

The first wave of programming for the festival – long considered a key stop for Oscar hopefuls – is crammed with all sorts of film goodness.

Sony Pictures Teams Up With Classic Arcade Gaming Characters
Sony Pictures Teams Up With Classic Arcade Gaming Characters

…for the action comedy ‘Pixels’, which stars Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage.

Close Encounters
Close Encounters

Australian writer/producer, Josh Bryer, spins an intriguing tale of alien abduction with his short ‘Kindred’, the first sci-fi film to star indigenous Australians.