‘W’: bush league?

Posted by · 10:36 am · July 30th, 2008

Josh Brolin is George W. Bush in WI need to tread gently here and if offend that is not my intention…at all.

I am not an American but I’ve always been fascinated with American history and politics. While I would never presume to know more about America than its own people, I must admit I struggle with the idea of George W. Bush as president for many of the same reasons Americans do. All of the previous individuals who have held office in my lifetime possessed intelligence — it burned in their eyes — but I do not see that in President Bush at…all.

Time Magazine did a feature about a year or so ago asking whether or not Bush was the worst US President in history and I believe he won by quite a margin.  Is he fodder enough for a film?  Should it be right now? Should it be directed by Oliver Stone?

First and foremost let’s be thankful that living in Canada and the United States, ideas for films, or any other art, are not censored by the government.  So yes, Stone has the freedom to make the film if he so wishes, and though it may not be good, though I may hate it, I will argue his right to make it with my dying breath.

I do believe some time away from Mr. Bush would be beneficial for the director, however, as there may be aspects of his presidency that may could positive in time.  And I think the American public needs some distancing from the man to truly ascertain their opinions.

When Stone made “Nixon,” his brilliant study of disgraced President Richard M. Nixon, most in the business felt a vicious attack was forthcoming.  But when the film was released, critics and audiences saw that the director had put together a thoughtful character study of a brilliant man, a statesman who was plagued by the demons of his youth, never thinking he deserved what he had earned. And while we all know of Watergate and the fact that Nixon resigned in shame, I find it extraordinary that every U.S. President to follow Nixon sought his advice in matters of foreign policy until his death.

As Henry Kissigner predicted, “history will serve Nixon,” and it did. He is now remembered as a great statesman who opened China and Russia. How many presidents attended his funeral?  It was a remarkable show of respect for a man few understood.  Oh, I know there are those who detest him (he was a politician after all), but I find him fascinating and perhaps the most misunderstood of the nation’s history of leaders. His life made “Nixon” a brilliant piece of work.

“W” does look particularly good at this point.  The real story of the Bush administration is how he got elected in the first place, who decided this man could run a country and serve in the highest office in the land, etc. The U.S. President is often considered the most powerful man on the planet (I believe that).  Who actually thought, aside from Bush, that he could be considered as such?

Will Stone explore that? I think not, not if the trailer is any indication (and it may not be). I worry that the film will be horribly exploitative and an outright attack on the man, who, as a citizen of the United States, deserves the right to defend his choices and decisions.

Not known for always telling the truth on screen, how far will Stone go?

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3 responses so far

  • 1 7-30-2008 at 11:16 am

    The Z said...

    Bush is only considered the worst president ever because most Americans don’t know history and can’t recall any presidents other than the most recent and most famous. Harding, Hoover, WH Harrison, Polk, Taylor, and Buchanan (who essential allowed the country to fall into the Civil War) were all probably much worse presidents than GW Bush.

  • 2 7-30-2008 at 11:36 am

    Neel Mehta said...

    Still, if George W. Bush is the 8th worst President ever…

    I don’t expect a rushed, laughable Oliver Stone experiment to see the cinematic final word on Dubya. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made, in this time frame and with this director.

    I have a feeling many more films will be made about the 2000-2008 period in American history, and decades from now people will take that mixed bag and evaluate the era’s American leadership accordingly.

  • 3 7-30-2008 at 12:40 pm

    Joel said...

    Truthfully, Stone can do what he wants. I believe that the film shouldn’t be made (I actually LIKE Bush, a little bit) right now. Maybe later.

    However, I will see the film because I am curious.