Friday, October 24, 2008

W

Valery and I went to see 'W' at the Alamo Draft House yesterday, and it was better than I expected.

That's faint if not damning praise without some explanation, so I must begin by observing that this is the first movie I've been to see in quite some time. I admit I'm not quite sure why this is. Certainly there are, and have been, plenty of movies that are more exciting visually and dramatic this biopic of W. Certainly, after eight years of political torture and with only a few more bruising weeks before Obama's shocking defeat, I should be tired of all this shit.

Why go in for more? Why not just get another root canal?

After all, I really need the root canal.

The fact is, I guess, that I really want to understand how we got here. Since I obviously didn't vote for him, I did not know his story well enough to characterize him as something other than stupid, evil or both. Giving Bush the benefit of the doubt, I've always guessed that it was Cheney that deserved the tag, 'evil'. 

Stone really reinforced that notion with his portrayal of 'Vice' as W calls him, apparently, and in the service of history, Richard Dreyfuss really nails the role. So does Josh Brolin, who so well imitated the President's walk and talk in situations other than his so-well-known Presidential swagger, that I felt, for the first time, definitely, a certain degree of compassion for him.

There, then, is the tribute to Stone and the writers, for if I can register some sympathetic resonance with George W. Bush, then the film has overcome some serious predjudices and obstacles to understanding the times in which we live. So, even though I am certain that the legacy of George W. Bush will be as the worst president this country has ever had, including the most corrupt and ignorant among that elite group, thanks to Stone, I now have at least a grain of sympathy for him. Go figure.

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