Movie Review: W. (2008)

Accurate, devastating portrayal of Bush and the main Neocon players
in the late criminal enterprise (7/10)


George Herbert Walker Bush: You didn’t exactly finish up with flying colours in the Air National Guard, junior.

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.

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

There’s so much more to this movie than Josh Brolin’s dead ringer simulation of the biggest, baddest wannabe of all time known as George W. Bush, but that’s a good place to start: I’m amazed that Brolin didn’t grab an Academy Award nomination—he did manage to pick up a couple of nominations from other critics’ associations.  As a character study, there is none higher.  Stanley Weiser’s story obviously comes from meticulous research, but you get the impression the writer practically grew up in the Bush household.

Screenplay by Stanley Weiser
Directed by Oliver Stone

Elizabeth Banks … Laura Bush
Dennis Boutsikaris … Paul Wolfowitz
Josh Brolin … George W. Bush
Ellen Burstyn … Barbara Bush
James Cromwell … George H. W. Bush
Richard Dreyfuss … Dick Cheney
Scott Glenn … Donald Rumsfeld
Ioan Gruffudd … Tony Blair
Colin Hanks … Speechwriter
Stacy Keach … Rev. Earle Hudd
Bruce McGill … George Tenet
Thandie Newton … Condoleezza Rice
Jeffrey Wright … Gen. Colin Powell
Toby Jones … Karl Rove

Oliver Stone’s other major biography, Nixon, I feel is the deeper of the two movies, mainly because George W. has the depth of the water in a dry pond on a summer day.  He was basically a lazy kid with a below-average IQ and an above-average self-esteem problem.  One would think that, regardless of the Bush fortune and connections, such an inferior mental and moral wretch as W. could never garner the support of the powerful men behind the Republican Party needed to put him in office.

As a matter of fact, they didn’t. The 2000 presidential election was stolen mainly by the documented treachery of Florida’s Jeb Bushoviks in suppressing black votes, and the 2004 presidential election was stolen by Diebold et al electronically.[1]

I recall in 1999 witnessing the avalanche of support for George W. on the Republican side almost from the beginning of the primary season.  He came out of the chute as the odds-on favorite, and nobody had the slightest idea who he was… aside from taking credit for the term “compassionate conservative” and receiving $millions in municipal tax loot to become owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.  Then somewhere in there he was governor of Texas—when that state became the most polluted state in the country.

At the time I did not put two and two together:

Clearly, Bush was the favorite of the fossil-fuel crowd from Day 1. He liked to have a largely ceremonial job where he didn’t have to do any work, he enjoyed meeting with lobbyists and allowing the coal an oil industries, especially, to abrogate people’s property rights in air and water with impunity, and he liked to feel special because he believed in Jesus Christ. Although the Kleptocons in general were happy enough with such a compliant nonentity, the fossil fuel cartel—and its point man in Washington for decades, Dick Cheney—was positively ecstatic.

We never had a chance.  The amiable beer-drinking persona was totally made up.  For one thing Bush was an alcoholic and a coke head, and for another, he had the conversational skills of a toaster oven. [A side benefit to the coming total disgrace of Bush II is that that Born Again Christian hokum will never again carry the same cachet in civil society.  What a crock!]

There are some interesting sequences dealing with W’s conversion, especially from the perspective of a noted evangelist Rev. Earle Hudd (Stacy Keach), who seems mystified that George wants to totally politicize his conversion to Jesus.  Kind of along this line, we get a terrific insight into the work of Karl Rove (Toby Jones), and how such a sniveling little second-hand witch doctor could supply some of the most powerful motivations for the aspiring young Bush Attila

Generally, I’m disappointed in Weiser/Stone for failing to identify the true powers behind the Bush throne.  They fall for the relatively conventional understanding that the Neocons led by Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss), Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn), Rice (Thandie Newton), Wolfowitz (Dennis Boutsikaris), and others were the powers telling George how to “accomplish his mission.”  And let me say, that while Dreyfuss makes an absolutely frightening Dick Cheney, Thandie Newton deserves a special award for fleshing out the “obsequious yes-woman from ‘who in the heck could ever imagine such a twisted, self-hating soul, especially a woman, in that position?'”

Is Oliver Stone getting old and Charmin-soft? Perhaps. But as with Colin Powell (or H. Ross Perot?), my real sense is the Kleptocon secret societies (CIA/NSA/ONR) and intelligence hierarchies made him an offer he would be wise not to refuse.  Speaking of Colin Powell, Weiser/Stone do some of their best projections of what might have happened had Powell decided to stand on the courage of his convictions and resign. My guess: no war. And, what? 50,000 Americans not maimed/killed and 500,000 Iraqis not maimed/killed?

As for W. and Cheney and the rest, sure they need to go to jail. Stone’s movie is at once an indictment of George et al and a somewhat humanizing treatment of the president himself. Yes, I do feel sorry for the Village Idiot who gets all fired up by his friends and robs a party store, killing the clerk. Rough justice in Texas requires such an idiot be killed by the state… and Bush killed more such stupid-people accessories than anyone in history. I don’t think we should kill Bush—I actually buy Stone’s humanizing of him—but I do think they all need to be confined forever in ill-fitting orange jumpsuits and sandals that chafe.

[1] I’ll cite the 2000 reference by Greg Palast: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, and you can go to Black Box Voting to discover how the second term was ripped.

[2] Check out the magnum opus of G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island, which not only describes the need to undo the Fed, but describes the forces behind that vile institution of productive-class plunder. You will discover that one of the innovations of the central banks (the Rothschild Formula) is to back all sides in a state-to-state conflict, cleaning up royally no matter who wins.

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