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W.

Theatrical poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Moritz Borman
Jon Kilik
Bill Block
Oliver Stone
Written by Stanley Weiser
Starring Josh Brolin
Elizabeth Banks
James Cromwell
Ellen Burstyn
Richard Dreyfuss
Toby Jones
Thandie Newton
Jeffrey Wright
Scott Glenn
Bruce McGill
Jennifer Sipes
Noah Wyle
Ioan Gruffudd
Cinematography Phedon Papamichael Jr.
Editing by Julie Monroe
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date(s) October 17, 2008
Running time 129 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$25.1 million
Gross revenue $ 29,434,429 [1]

W. (pronounced "dub-ya")[2] is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush. It was produced and directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stanley Weiser, and stars Josh Brolin as President Bush. Filming began on May 12, 2008, in Louisiana and the film was released on October 17.[3]

Contents

Plot

In 1966, George W. Bush (Josh Brolin) endures an alcohol-fueled and drugged fasinations initiation by fellow Yale students as a pledge for the fictional Delta Iota Kappa fraternity. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members and states that his father's political legacy is one in which he has no interest. A little later, after the younger Bush is jailed for rowdiness following a football game, his father, Texas Congressman George H.W. Bush (James Cromwell), states that he will help his son, but only for the last time. Bush quits an oil patch job soon after and is accepted into Harvard Business School with the help of his father. Later that night, he gets into a drunken fight with the elder Bush. "Junior" then reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: being a baseball manager.

In 1977 at a poker, game Bush announces he will run for Congress in Texas. At a barbecue, Bush meets Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), his future wife. Bush is criticized by his opponent, Democrat Kent Hance (Paul Rae), who says that Bush is not a "real Texan" and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol fueled party to underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the state's history.

In 1986 after turning 40, Bush becomes a born again Christian, gives up alcohol, and somewhat mends his relationship with his father, who invites him to assist with his successful presidential campaign, though the younger Bush complains that he only was asked because his brother Jeb was busy. Bush's political advisor, Karl Rove (Toby Jones), tells Bush that he has the potential to make a name for himself, but has not yet done enough in his life to warrant political election. Bush becomes owner of the Texas Rangers while his father oversees the victory of the 1991 Gulf War in 100 hours but decides not to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. When Bush's father loses the 1992 election, Bush blames the loss on the decision not to depose Hussein.

Bush decides to run for Governor of Texas despite his parents' disapproval. An election win prompts a successful presidential bid in 2000, followed by the September 11 attacks. As President, Bush plans a war with Iraq, and labels America's enemies — specifically Iraq, North Korea, and Iran — the "axis of evil". In 2002, Bush begins searching for evidence that Hussein was creating nuclear weapons, and has the army prepared. Bush's staff supports the president, with the exception of Secretary of State Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), who says that invading Iraq would destabilize the country. He is generally overruled by Vice President Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn), who insist that the war — deliberately waged without an exit strategy — would secure the U.S.' status as sole global superpower while spreading democracy throughout the Middle East.

In his 2003 State of the Union, Bush states that "Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists." In March 2003, the U.S. invades Iraq and, at first, the war appears to be a success. Bush gives his infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech on an aircraft carrier. When it becomes clear that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush learns that the responsibility for finding them had been relegated far down the chain of command. Bush also discovers that Saddam Hussein gambled his regime and his life on the assumption that Bush was bluffing. Bush is asked in a press conference what mistakes he made as President, a question that leaves him flustered and speechless.

Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining the Bush legacy, which he claims was intended for Jeb. Later, he dreams of playing center field in a baseball game. A pop fly is hit in his direction. As Bush attempts to catch it, the ball disappears. George W. Bush is now all beside himself to contemplate his uncertain future.

Cast

Production

"I want a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from. It includes his belief that God personally chose him to be President of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, preemptive attack on Iraq. It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors."
—Oliver Stone[8]

Director Oliver Stone was originally attached to direct Pinkville, a film about the Army's investigation of the My Lai Massacre, but development was canceled due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike and actor Bruce Willis pulling out of the film three weeks before shooting was set to start.[5] As a result, United Artists shut the production down. Stone moved on to direct a film about the life and presidency of George W. Bush, shopping a script that had been written before the strike by Stanley Weiser, who had co-written Wall Street with Stone. Weiser and Stone read 17 books as part of their research for the script,[9] and worked on the project for a year before venturing to film Pinkville.[8] Stone has admitted that he and Weiser had to speculate on some dialogue: "You take all the facts and take the spirit of the scene and make it accurate to what you think happened".[5] W. was financed independently, with Hong Kong, German, and Australian funds.[10] Lions Gate Entertainment distributed the film.[5] Though Stone has criticized Bush for his administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq, the director said that he was not looking to make an "anti-Bush polemic." Stone compared his goal of the film to that of The Queen, wanting to trace "seminal events in Bush's life." According to the director, "It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to Nixon, to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin. But if Nixon was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone."[8] He described the structure of W. as a three-act film starting with Bush as a young man "with a missed life", followed by his transformation and "an assertion of will which was amazingly powerful" as he came out from his father's shadow, and finally his invasion of Iraq.[11]

The film, originally titled Bush,[8] was re-titled W.[12] Filming began on May 12, 2008 in Shreveport, Louisiana,[3] and completed filming on July 11, 2008.[13] On May 13, 2008 the New York Post published excerpts from an early draft of the script. The column, written by Cindy Adams, stated “Pro-Bushies will hate it, antis will love it.”[14]

The film was released on October 17, 2008, before the presidential election.[3] W. 's producers reportedly ran television spots for the film opposite Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain's ads in the fall of 2008.[5]

News anchorwoman Anne Pressly of KATV 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas, played the role of a pundit based on Ann Coulter but given a fictitious name. On October 20, three days after W. was released in theaters, she was found raped, beaten and unconscious in her home. She died of her injuries five days later.[15] The motive for the attack was deemed most likely a robbery, and her notability played no role in her being targeted.[16]

Reception

W. has received mixed to positive reviews from film critics.[17] According to Rod Liddle, almost all of the better reviewers in Britain either openly derided the film or criticized it without praising a single point.[18] However, most of the reviews praise Brolin's performance. As of April 3, 2009, Rotten Tomatoes reports a "fresh" rating, with 60 percent of critics giving the film positive write-ups, based upon a sample of 196, with an average score of 6.1/10.[19] The website summarized the reviews of the film by calling it "A surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of the 43rd American president, W. is fascinating in spots, but merely rudimentary as a whole."[19] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 56, based on 36 reviews.[17]

Giving the film four stars in his review, Roger Ebert wrote that it was "fascinating" and praised all the actors, noting that Richard Dreyfuss, in particular, was "not so much a double as an embodiment" of Dick Cheney.[20] In contrast, Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post called the film "a rushed, wildly uneven, tonally jumbled caricature."[21] Film critic James Berardinelli negatively compared the film with Saturday Night Live skits, saying of the actors that "None of them are as dead-on as Tina Fey as Sarah Palin."

The Monthly film critic Luke Davies spoke highly of Josh Brolin's performance but criticized Oliver Stone's portrayal of the story, writing "The unexamined life is not worth living; in Stone's interpretation, Bush's life has been worthless. And this makes it hard to get a grip on the film's central character. The fault lies not with Brolin but with the material he's been given. There's no interior exploration. The point, no doubt, is that Stone believes there's nothing to explore; certainly, Bush has learnt nothing by the end of the film. But audiences want more, especially in biopics that are critical of their subjects." Davies observed that "when weighed against Stone's body of work, the film comes across as decidedly placid, as if, aware of the contentious subject matter, Stone wanted to make a movie where he couldn't, for once, be accused of generating leftist hysteria." Davies grapsed that "the film portrays a man who had no real sense of what government might be: that glorious dream of fairness imagined, for all its flaws, by the founding fathers" but that this is lost in the film's entirety, describing Stone's "canvas [as] too broad, and W is like the highlights reel of one man's powerful life."[22]

The Bush administration never officially commented on the film. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is portrayed in the film, called the Oedipal rivalry "high-grade, unadulterated hooey" and said that Stone's exploration of the family dynamic could have benefited from actual conversations with the Bush family.[23] Slate Magazine's Timothy Noah, however, noted that "most [of] the film's more ludicrous details" are actually directly taken from non-fiction sources, and argued that the film was too kind to Bush in omitting certain historically recorded dramatic events, most notably Bush's mocking of murderer Karla Faye Tucker, a woman put to death during his tenure of the Texan governorship, to interviewer Tucker Carlson.[24]

The film appeared on some critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News named it the eighth best film of 2008[25], and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times named it on his top 20 list (he did not assign rankings).[25]

The film opened #4 behind The Secret Life of Bees, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Max Payne, respectively with $10,505,668 from 2,030 theaters with a $5,175 average.[26] The film had a budget of $25.1 million and grossed $25,534,493 in North America, and $3,401,242 internationally.[27]

References

  1. ^ "W. (2008)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=w.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-07.  
  2. ^ "W. Poster". Internet Movie Poster Awards. http://www.impawards.com/2008/w_ver9.html. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  3. ^ a b c Fleming, Michael (2008-05-08). "Lionsgate books Oliver Stone's W". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117985350.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-05-09.  
  4. ^ a b Larry Carroll (2008-10-15). "What Do Batman And George W. Bush Have In Common? Oliver Stone Explains…". MTV. http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/10/15/what-do-batman-and-george-w-bush-have-in-common-oliver-stone-explains/. Retrieved 2008-10-15.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f Benjamin Svetkey (2008-05-07). "First Look: W., Oliver Stone's Bush Biopic". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20198476,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  6. ^ Sperling, Nicole (March 26, 2008). "Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic coming together". Entertainment Weekly. http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2008/03/george-w-bushs.html. Retrieved 2008-03-28.  
  7. ^ url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1175491/
  8. ^ a b c d Michael Fleming (2008-01-20). "Oliver Stone votes for 'Bush' project". Variety. http://www.variety.com/VR1117979349.html. Retrieved 2008-03-28.  
  9. ^ Stephen Galloway, Matthew Belloni (2008-04-07). "Bush biographers mixed on script for Oliver Stone's W.". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i1155cb8195120add876286155ef704a6?pn=1. Retrieved 2008-04-12.  
  10. ^ Schuker, Lauren. "A Film on Bush Finds Friends Abroad". Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2008
  11. ^ Mike Goodridge (May 30, 2008). "Interview: Oliver Stone". Screen Daily. http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyArticle.aspx?intStoryID=39249&Category=. Retrieved 2008-06-02.  
  12. ^ Fleming, Michael (March 26, 2008). "Oliver Stone casts parents of W". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117982971.html?categoryId=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-03-27.  
  13. ^ "Brolin, Wright arrested in pub fight". Variety. 2008-07-13. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988852.html. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  
  14. ^ Cindy Adams (May 13, 2008). "Film Has A Few Words About Our President". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/05132008/gossip/cindy/film_has_a_few_words_about_our_president_110584.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-13.  
  15. ^ CNN (October 26, 2008). "Intruder Beats TV News Anchor". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/10/20/tv.anchor.attack.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2008-10-30.  
  16. ^ New York Times (November 29, 2008). "Robbery Suspected as Motive in Beating Death of Anchor". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/us/29arkansas.html?ref=media. Retrieved 2008-11-29.  
  17. ^ a b "W. (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/w. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  18. ^ Liddle, Rod (2008-11-22), "The critics are wrong to pan W.", The Spectator (Australia): 16  
  19. ^ a b "W. Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/w_2008/. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  20. ^ Roger Ebert (2008-10-15). "W.". rogerebert.com. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081015/REVIEWS/810150285. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  21. ^ Ann Hornaday (2008-10-17). "'W': Mission Not Accomplished". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/10/16/ST2008101601746.html?sid=ST2008101601746. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  22. ^ Luke Davies. "Big Thoughts, Empire Burlesque: Oliver Stone's "W"". The Monthly. http://www.themonthly.com.au/film-luke-davies-big-thoughts-empire-burlesque-oliver-stone-s-039w039-1341?page=0%2C1.  
  23. ^ "Jeb Bush calls 'W' movie 'Hooey'". Washington Times. Friday, October 17, 2008. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/17/jeb-bush-on-w-movie-high-grade-hooey/. Retrieved 2008-10-20. ""The Oedipal rivalry is high-grade, unadulterated hooey," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told The Washington Times."  
  24. ^ Noah, Timothy (Friday, October 17, 2008). "Dubya, Stoned.". Slate Magazine. http://www.slate.com/id/2202341/. Retrieved 2008-10-20.  
  25. ^ a b "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/awards/2008/toptens.shtml. Retrieved January 11, 2009.  
  26. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 10/17 to 10/19". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2008&wknd=42&p=.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-20.  
  27. ^ "Box Office/Business for W. (2008)". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1175491/business.  

External links

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W.
File:W
Theatrical poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Moritz Borman
Jon Kilik
Bill Block
Oliver Stone
Written by Stanley Weiser
Starring Josh Brolin
Elizabeth Banks
James Cromwell
Ellen Burstyn
Richard Dreyfuss
Toby Jones
Thandie Newton
Jeffrey Wright
Scott Glenn
Bruce McGill
Jennifer Sipes
Noah Wyle
Ioan Gruffudd
Music by Paul Cantelon
Cinematography Phedon Papamichael Jr.
Editing by Julie Monroe
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date(s) October 17, 2008
Running time 129 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$25.1 million
Gross revenue $29,434,429 [1]

W. is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush. It was produced and directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stanley Weiser, and stars Josh Brolin as Bush. Filming began on May 12, 2008, in Louisiana and the film was released on October 17.[2]

Contents

Plot

In 1966, George W. Bush (Brolin) endures an alcohol-fueled initiation by fellow Yale students as a Delta Kappa Epsilon pledge. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members, and states that his family's political legacy is one in which he has no interest. A little later, after the younger Bush is jailed in Maryland for rowdiness following a football game, his father, Texas Congressman George H.W. Bush (James Cromwell), states that he will help his son, but for the last time. Following graduation from Yale, Bush takes a job at an oil patch back in his native Texas, but he quits after only a few weeks. Soon after, he is accepted into Harvard Business School with the help of his father. Later that night after drinking heavily, he crashes his car into the family estate and challenges his father to a fight. "Junior" then reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: working in professional baseball, in some capacity.

In 1977, Bush announces he will run for Congress in Texas. At a barbecue, Bush meets Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), his future wife. During the congress debate, Bush is criticized by his opponent, Democrat Kent Hance (Paul Rae), who says that Bush is not a "real Texan" and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol fueled party for underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the state's history.

After turning 40 in 1986, Bush becomes a born again Christian, gives up alcohol, and somewhat mends his relationship with his father. The elder Bush invites him to assist with his successful 1988 presidential campaign, though the younger Bush suspects that he only was asked because his brother Jeb is busy. Bush's political advisor, Karl Rove (Toby Jones), tells him that he has the potential to make a name for himself, but has not yet done enough in his life to warrant political election. Bush becomes the owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team while his father oversees the victory of the 1991 Gulf War. Won in 100 hours, the President decides not to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. When Bush's father loses the 1992 election, Bush blames the loss on the decision not to depose Hussein.

Bush decides to run for Governor of Texas despite his parents' opposition. An election win prompts a successful presidential bid in 2000. Following the September 11 attacks, Bush plans a war with Iraq, and labels America's enemies — specifically Iraq, North Korea, and Iran — the "axis of evil". In 2002, Bush begins searching for evidence that Hussein was creating nuclear weapons, and has the army prepared. Bush's staff supports the president, with the exception of Secretary of State Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), who says that invading Iraq would destabilize the country. He is generally overruled by Vice President Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn), who insist that the war — deliberately waged without an exit strategy — would secure the U.S.' status as sole global superpower while spreading democracy throughout the Middle East.

In his 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush states that "Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists." In March 2003, the U.S. invades Iraq and, at first, the war appears to be a success. Bush gives his infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech on an aircraft carrier. When it becomes clear that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush learns that the responsibility for finding them had been relegated far down the chain of command. Bush also discovers that Saddam Hussein gambled his regime and his life on the assumption that Bush was bluffing. Bush is asked in a press conference what mistakes he made as President, a question that leaves him flustered and speechless.

That night, Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining the Bush legacy, which he claims was intended for Jeb. Later, he dreams of playing center field in a baseball game. A pop fly is hit in his direction. As Bush attempts to catch it, the ball disappears: Home run.

Cast

Production

"I want a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from. It includes his belief that God personally chose him to be President of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, preemptive attack on Iraq. It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors."

Oliver Stone[9]

Director Oliver Stone was originally attached to direct Pinkville, a film about the Army's investigation of the My Lai Massacre, but development was canceled due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike and actor Bruce Willis pulling out of the film three weeks before shooting was set to start.[4] As a result, United Artists shut the production down. Stone moved on to direct a film about the life and presidency of George W. Bush, shopping a script that had been written before the strike by Stanley Weiser, who had co-written Wall Street with Stone. Weiser and Stone read 17 books as part of their research for the script,[10] and worked on the project for a year before venturing to film Pinkville.[9] Stone has admitted that he and Weiser had to speculate on some dialogue: "You take all the facts and take the spirit of the scene and make it accurate to what you think happened".[4] W. was financed independently, with Hong Kong, German, and Australian funds.[11] Lions Gate Entertainment distributed the film.[4] Though Stone has criticized Bush for his administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq, the director said that he was not looking to make an "anti-Bush polemic." Stone compared his goal of the film to that of The Queen, wanting to trace "seminal events in Bush's life." According to the director, "It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to Nixon, to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin. But if Nixon was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone."[9] He described the structure of W. as a three-act film starting with Bush as a young man "with a missed life", followed by his transformation and "an assertion of will which was amazingly powerful" as he came out from his father's shadow, and finally his invasion of Iraq.[12]

The film, originally titled Bush,[9] was re-titled W.[13] Filming began on May 12, 2008 in Shreveport, Louisiana,[2] and completed filming on July 11, 2008.[14] On May 13, 2008 the New York Post published excerpts from an early draft of the script. The column, written by Cindy Adams, stated “Pro-Bushies will hate it, antis will love it.”[15]

The film was released on October 17, 2008, before the presidential election.[2] W. 's producers reportedly ran television spots for the film opposite Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain's ads in the fall of 2008.[4]

News anchorwoman Anne Pressly of KATV 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas, played the role of a pundit based on Ann Coulter but given a fictitious name. On October 20, three days after W. was released in theaters, she was found raped, beaten and unconscious in her home. She died of her injuries five days later.[16] The motive for the attack was deemed most likely a robbery, and her notability played no role in her being targeted.[17]

Reception

Critical response

As of April 20, 2010, Rotten Tomatoes reports a "fresh" rating, with 60 percent of critics giving the film positive write-ups, based upon a sample of 203, with an average score of 6.1/10.[18] The website summarized the reviews of the film by calling it "A surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of the 43rd American president, W. is fascinating in spots, but merely rudimentary as a whole."[18] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 56, based on 36 reviews.[19]

Giving the film four stars in his review, Roger Ebert wrote that it was "fascinating" and praised all the actors, noting that Richard Dreyfuss, in particular, was "not so much a double as an embodiment" of Dick Cheney.[20] In contrast, Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post called the film "a rushed, wildly uneven, tonally jumbled caricature."[21] Film critic James Berardinelli negatively compared the film with Saturday Night Live skits, saying of the actors that "None of them are as dead-on as Tina Fey as Sarah Palin."

The Monthly film critic Luke Davies spoke highly of Josh Brolin's performance but criticized Oliver Stone's portrayal of the story, writing "The unexamined life is not worth living; in Stone's interpretation, Bush's life has been worthless. And this makes it hard to get a grip on the film's central character. The fault lies not with Brolin but with the material he's been given. There's no interior exploration. The point, no doubt, is that Stone believes there's nothing to explore; certainly, Bush has learned nothing by the end of the film. But audiences want more, especially in biopics that are critical of their subjects." Davies observed that "when weighed against Stone's body of work, the film comes across as decidedly placid, as if, aware of the contentious subject matter, Stone wanted to make a movie where he couldn't, for once, be accused of generating leftist hysteria." Davies grasped that "the film portrays a man who had no real sense of what government might be: that glorious dream of fairness imagined, for all its flaws, by the founding fathers" but that this is lost in the film's entirety, describing Stone's "canvas [as] too broad, and W is like the highlights reel of one man's powerful life."[22]

The Bush administration never officially commented on the film. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is portrayed in the film, called the sibling rivalry portrayed in the film "high-grade, unadulterated hooey" and said that Stone's exploration of the family dynamic could have benefited from actual conversations with the Bush family.[23] Slate Magazine's Timothy Noah, however, noted that "most [of] the film's more ludicrous details" are actually directly taken from non-fiction sources, and argued that the film was too kind to Bush in omitting certain historically recorded dramatic events, most notably Bush's alleged mocking of murderer Karla Faye Tucker, a woman put to death during his tenure of the Texan governorship, to interviewer Tucker Carlson.[24] However, the incident is disputed by Bush himself, and as such is also unconfirmed.

The film appeared on some critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News named it the eighth best film of 2008[25], and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times named it on his top 20 list (he did not assign rankings).[25]

The film opened #4 behind The Secret Life of Bees, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Max Payne, respectively with $10,505,668 from 2,030 theaters with a $5,175 average.[26] The film had a budget of $25.1 million and grossed $25,534,493 in North America, and $3,401,242 internationally.[27]

References

  1. ^ "W. (2008)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=w.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  2. ^ a b c Fleming, Michael (2008-05-08). "Lionsgate books Oliver Stone's W". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117985350.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  3. ^ a b Larry Carroll (2008-10-15). "What Do Batman And George W. Bush Have In Common? Oliver Stone Explains…". MTV. http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/10/15/what-do-batman-and-george-w-bush-have-in-common-oliver-stone-explains/. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Benjamin Svetkey (2008-05-07). "First Look: W., Oliver Stone's Bush Biopic". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20198476,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  5. ^ Sperling, Nicole (March 26, 2008). "Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic coming together". Entertainment Weekly. http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2008/03/george-w-bushs.html. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  6. ^ "Bush and Earle Hudd - Bible Study Group". Lionsgate. http://www.wthefilm.com/guide/pages/31-Bush-and-Earle-Hudd-Bible-Study-Group.html. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Bush, George W. (2001). A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House. HarperCollins. pp. 1. ISBN 0-688-17441-8. 
  8. ^ url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1175491/
  9. ^ a b c d Michael Fleming (2008-01-20). "Oliver Stone votes for 'Bush' project". Variety. http://www.variety.com/VR1117979349.html. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  10. ^ Stephen Galloway, Matthew Belloni (2008-04-07). "Bush biographers mixed on script for Oliver Stone's W.". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i1155cb8195120add876286155ef704a6?pn=1. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  11. ^ Schuker, Lauren. "A Film on Bush Finds Friends Abroad". Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2008
  12. ^ Mike Goodridge (May 30, 2008). "Interview: Oliver Stone". Screen Daily. Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20080628025118/http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyArticle.aspx?intStoryID=39249&Category=. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  13. ^ Fleming, Michael (March 26, 2008). "Oliver Stone casts parents of W". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117982971.html?categoryId=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  14. ^ "Brolin, Wright arrested in pub fight". Variety. 2008-07-13. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988852.html. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  15. ^ Cindy Adams (May 13, 2008). "Film Has A Few Words About Our President". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/05132008/gossip/cindy/film_has_a_few_words_about_our_president_110584.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  16. ^ CNN (October 26, 2008). "Intruder Beats TV News Anchor". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/10/20/tv.anchor.attack.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  17. ^ New York Times (November 29, 2008). "Robbery Suspected as Motive in Beating Death of Anchor". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/us/29arkansas.html?ref=media. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  18. ^ a b "W. Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/w_2008/. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  19. ^ "W. (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/w. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  20. ^ Roger Ebert (2008-10-15). "W.". rogerebert.com. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081015/REVIEWS/810150285. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  21. ^ Ann Hornaday (2008-10-17). "'W': Mission Not Accomplished". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/10/16/ST2008101601746.html?sid=ST2008101601746. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  22. ^ Luke Davies. "Big Thoughts, Empire Burlesque: Oliver Stone's "W"". The Monthly. http://www.themonthly.com.au/film-luke-davies-big-thoughts-empire-burlesque-oliver-stone-s-039w039-1341?page=0%2C1. 
  23. ^ "Jeb Bush calls 'W' movie 'Hooey'". Washington Times. Friday, October 17, 2008. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/17/jeb-bush-on-w-movie-high-grade-hooey/. Retrieved 2008-10-20. ""The Oedipal rivalry is high-grade, unadulterated hooey," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told The Washington Times." 
  24. ^ Noah, Timothy (Friday, October 17, 2008). "Dubya, Stoned.". Slate Magazine. http://www.slate.com/id/2202341/. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  25. ^ a b "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/awards/2008/toptens.shtml. Retrieved January 11, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 10/17 to 10/19". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2008&wknd=42&p=.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  27. ^ "Box Office/Business for W. (2008)". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1175491/business. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

W. is a 2008 biographical film, directed by Oliver Stone, based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

Contents

George Herbert Walker Bush

  • If I remember correctly, you didn't like the sporting good store. Working for the investment firm wasn't for you either, or the oil rig job. You didn't exactly finish up with flying colors in the Air National Guard, junior. Just what are you cut out for? Getting into car accidents? Chasing tail? Driving drunk? What do you think you are, a Kennedy? You're a Bush! Start acting like one!
  • My dad would have kicked me in the crotch if I was where you are now, Junior.

George W. Bush

  • I'll never get out of Poppy's shadow!
  • [On his father] This is my war, not his!
  • God bless us all, and may God continue to bless America.
  • Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... you can't get fooled again.
  • Whose job is it, to find these damn weapons?
  • I believe God wants me to be president. I can't explain it, but something's going to happen, and America's going to need me.
  • [repeated line] Just tell me what to do!
  • Iran is not Iraq and Iraq is not Iran. I know that.

Karl Rove

  • The American people want revenge. They liked Afghanistan, they want more!

Dialogue

Dick Cheney: [talking about torture methods] They utilize fear scenarios.
George W. Bush: You mean like pulling out their toenails?

George W. Bush: I hear you're looking for me! Wanna go a few rounds mano-a-mano right here?
George H.W. Bush: You want an ass-whipping?
George W. Bush: Try it, old man!

George W. Bush: Who's ever remembered the son of a president?
Laura Bush: John Quincy Adams!
George W. Bush: Yeah, but that was like, three hundred years ago wasn't it?

Journalist: Mr. President, what place do you think you will have in history?
George W. Bush: History? In history we'll all be dead!

George W. Bush: Now I don't believe in forcing myself on people, so I'm just gonna ask for your phone number, not your vote.
Laura Bush: [laughs] You're a devil! Devil in a white hat!

Gen. Colin Powell: Funny Dick, I remember you once agreeing that going all the way in Baghdad would be a mistake.
Dick Cheney: Well, I think you made a bigger boo-boo, Colin. You could have been president.
Gen. Colin Powell: Fuck you.

Karl Rove: Here they come. They'll be bringing the heat.
George W. Bush: I know, don't swing at anything I can't hit.
Reporter #1: Mr. Bush, Mr. Bush, you didn't talk much about education. What are your plans for reform?
George W. Bush: Well, uh, I'm gonna deregulate school districts so that teachers and administrators can, you know, can develop programs to best fit their kids.
Reporter #2: Sir, are you proposing to measure student's progress?
George W. Bush: Oh, well, we need to make a wholesale effort against racial profiling, you know? Which is, uh, illiterate children. You need to be able to teach a child to read and then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.
Karl Rove: We're in the very early stages of developing our program.
Reporter #2: How do you plan to change the school finance formula?
George W. Bush: I for one will not stand for the subsidization of failure. How do you know if you measure up if you have a system that simply suckles them through.
Reporter #2: What about our failed schools? Do you think the state needs to take them over?
George W. Bush: More government's not the answer. We must have the attitude that every child in America, regardless where raised can learn. Rarely is the question asked is their children learning.

Karl Rove: If you can't stand in front of those guys two minutes and come up with one plausible answer what the hell are we running for governor for?
George W. Bush: Just tell me what to do, whatever it takes. Look if I need to read the whole damn Constitution I'll do it.

External links

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