Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NY Post: "W" Assaults Bush

Cindy Adams at The New York Post, a newspaper of very questionable repute, says on "page six" (where the newspaper admits it's delivering gossip) she has her hands on a screenplay of W, the Oliver Stone-directed look at the 43rd president (don't ask her how, she says, because she would be forced to lie). One fascinating revelation is that each script is apparently watermarked so they are traceable.

If you're politically aware, or if you just read the news, reporting the skimming of a screenplay about George W. Bush isn't exactly like spoiling who lives and dies in No Country for Old Men. Adams writes that the screenplay has just about every known and/or suspected real-life quote from Bush and the people who have populated his cabinet.

The screenplay evidently lambastes Bush as a childish imbecile, incorrigibly insecure as he tells his vice president to "[r]emember, I'm the president."

Judging by the quotes, it will be highly difficult to take this film seriously if it's intended to be a dark, Shakespearean tragedy like Nixon (which I love and consider to be the peak of Stone's work). W. is just too ridiculous a figure, it seems, to be the centerpiece of a solemnly monumental story. Rather, when one reads the quotes of the script, it sounds like a dumbed-down, twenty-first century, funhouse mirror version of Dr. Strangelove, except, remarkably, worse. Real life seems to have exceeded the exaggerations of art.

How are audiences not to laugh, even guardedly, when, if it comes to pass, W., auditing an Iraqi intercept, tells superhawk, Straussian neocon Paul Wolfowitz if he's "got any Maalox on you?...and, while you're at it, trim your ear hairs."



cjKennedy said...

I just don't know what to make of this one. The world needs a timely Strangelovian satire of the way things are today, but I can't tell if this is supposed to be it or not.

It's got me curious at least.

Alexander Coleman said...

It's just difficult to see what the greater point of the film is at this juncture, but when Stone's on his A-game (it's been a long time, admittedly) he tends to make films that sound absurd/stupid come to life with great potency.

Daniel G. said...

"Curious" is the key word here, Craig, and it's enough to make me want to see it. My expectations plummet with each new report of dialogue, though. It just sounds like it should be on Comedy Central or something.

Anonymous said...

Much as I can't stand the guy, I don;t know how this will fly. It seems it has to be dark comedy.

Alexander Coleman said...

Yeah, Daniel, it really does sound like something that should be on Comedy Central.

Christian, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Considering how many scripts are being leaked, I'm feeling suspicious...maybe it's a diversion from the real thing?

If this is the real thing...well, it might be funny. But it seems a little on the nose to be even that.

Alexander Coleman said...

If Stone were to really flex with this I could see how he could turn the humorous aspect of it upside-down, and make the point of what the inmates running the asylum has led to: crippling of the military, draining of the treasury, casualties, etc, etc. To quote Burke, small minds and empire go ill together. In the right context, some of these scenes, which sound funny, could be horrifying. We'll just have to wait and see.

Alexander Coleman said...

Well, it turned out most of this made it into the film!

But where was the bit on Wolfowitz and him having to shave his nose hairs?

Anyone else notice how the actor playing Wolfowitz had nose and ear hairs to match the appropriately named Wolfie?

Sam Juliano said...

Indeed Alexander, indeed!

And good point there about "Wolfie."

Prosper said...

Well, I don't really suppose this is likely to have effect.
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