Thanks to reader Michael who points us to the latest EW with Josh Brolin as W on the cover. It’s difficult to recognize the actor, and I’ve long been wondering about this project anyway, whether it’s too soon for an Oliver Stone interpretation of these events. Of the two films Stone has made on US Presidents, only one I really love. I appreciate JFK in certain ways but I think the film is dishonest in its portrayal of Garrison and thus, it becomes difficult to take it seriously – well I guess there are many reasons to not take it seriously – it is good entertainment, however. Nixon, on the other hand, is a movie I have seen many times and one that, I think, mostly nails Tricky Dick.

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  • the z

    I first saw “Nixon” only a couple months ago, and it immediately beacame a favorite. Anthony Hopkins – despite not looking even remotely like Dick Nixon – pulls it off and then some. Such a wonderful underrated film.

  • BryanSamo

    I am going to chime in on Nixon. I love that movie. Great performances by all, but Joan Allen, especially, is fantastic as Pat Nixon. A great performance that should have won an Oscar.

  • filmboymichael

    Thanks for posting that Sasha, I didn’t know if my work emai (yes I read this site incessantly at work) would find you….I’m glad it found you well….and yes, indeed Joan Allen should be an oscar winner! Her Plastic Pat was a stunning portrayal!

  • cc

    THAT’S supposed to be Bush?

    Looks more like Tom Brokaw just woke up.

  • Joao Mattos

    For me it’s the opposite: “JFK” is the masterpiece of Stone’s career, and in “Nixon” he justs repeat himself.

  • RRA is NOT a Crook

    Joaoa Mattos, did you even see NIXON?

    If anything, the only thing I can see it repeating JFK is with the “Bay of Pigs” assassination subplot, which really isn’t even that big of a deal.

    Is JFK dishonest? Yes, and anyone who cites it for serious academic research should be shot, but its a masterful, terrific detective-mystery narrative about a generation that wants accountability, whatever its deserving or not, for everything that happened to them.

    As for NIXON, I tell ya, Stone impressed the hell out of me with that masterpiece of a tragic figure who had the smarts and skills to be one of our greatest American Presidents, but ruined by his insecurity.

    Sadly, its Stone’s last good movie.

    I mean, if Stone a leftie could make a compelling story about someone like Nixon….he has a real shot of making W work.

    At its worst, it can’t be an ALEXANDER, right?

  • Ken

    Yeah, while JFK is definitely not something you use for any academic research or anything, it’s definitely the epitome of Oliver Stone’s filmmaking skills. Honestly, I love the movie so much and I feel that the acting is what makes me believe it on the screen. I don’t really care about the fact that it’s honest, I take it more as face value than anything else. Nevertheless, it’s my favorite movie of the 90s.

  • RRA is a Natural Born Critic

    Really, Stone in the early 90s to 1995 was Stone at the peak perhaps of his creativity, ambition, and before his editing narrative become damn convulted*.

    Hell, inbetween JFK and NIXON, Stone made NATURAL BORN KILLERS, another really damn good movie as well.

    *=ANY GIVEN SUNDAY anyone?

  • Ha, I agree with the Tom Brokaw comment! Brolin’s got the right eyes, but he needs to flare his nose a bit more… We are yet to hear his impersonation, which could make or break the role; I have faith in him still!

  • filmboymichael

    DirectorG – what I find so inspired is the casting of Josh Brolin. I hope he creates a character as alive and whole as Anthony Hopkins as Nixon. I would never look at Hopkins and see Nixon at all, but seeing his performance, I felt as if I was a fly on the wall during the Nixon administration….you don’t have to look like someone to play the part….

  • Markku

    It’s all up to Brolin, really. If he can create a complex, believable character out of this man who invites parody and ridicule with every gesture, derision and hatred (warranted or not) with his every action – hats off. That alone would make the project worthwhile. An interesting failure, if nothing else.

  • Chad

    Why not use JFK for research? The real facts of the incident may never be known and all Stone has done is make a film about one particular theory. And it’s 100% faithful to that theory’s interpretation of events.

  • Chad

    I got sidetracked by JFK and forgot my initial reason for posting. And that is, if Oliver Stone’s Bush movie is good, I’ll eat my hat.

  • Llewelyn? What’s in the satchel?

  • ryan


    I’ll be the one to chime in on Any Given Sunday. I personally really like that one. The one disappointing factor is that it verges on greatness, but it over extends itself. It tries to carry too many stories. Unfortunately, you can make an argument for all of them, so it just comes down to personal prefence. The one I would’ve shortened? The partying and success of Willie Beeman (Jamie Foxx). But part of that is necessary for the story I love which involves Foxx, Pachino and the other players (the sauna scene with Lawrence Taylor is one of my favorite moments in that film).

    The movie would’ve been a classic if it were 2 hours 10 minutes, instead of 2 hours 45 minutes.

    But the performances by everyone are fanstatic… even Cameron Diaz, whom I usually hate.

  • Okay, so I am interested now.

    Well done all.

  • Joao Mattos

    Again: JFK for me is Stone’s pinnacle of an idea about the nature of image and what we call truth, or at least the search for it. I’m talking not in a mere technical kind of way (of course it’s wonderful in this terms), in a “theory of conspiracy” vison of the world, but in a more moral/intelectual provocation Stone’s create.

    I don’t see that in “Nixon”. Not that I think is a bad movie, no way. But doesn’t touch me as “JFK”. And I still think that devotes not enough screen time for one Nixon’s greatest achievement’s: the way that he helps bring China out of the country’s isolation from the western world, when he made the famous one-week visit to dictator genocide, oooops, “chairman” Mao.

  • Haroldsmaude

    Bush? Brokaw? Looks like Marley’s Ghost.

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    i’m in awe of Stone’s achievement with JFK. it was so fascinating to watch and LISTEN to. the long, rambling yet brilliant script was a wonder. i still am amazed at the Donald Sutherland sequence which had to be one of the longest monologues in film history…yet every minute was captivating. i just wish Stone had continued at a high level of excellence exemplified by JFK. instead he has stumbled, often embarrassingly. i always thought he could have done a fantastic take on the OJ Simpson case.

  • Dominik

    It might be very difficult to find an actor who has the same dull look in his face as Bush Junior…
    A propos “Dull”: It´s really a thin red line between greatness and dullness, and often both in the same movie, if you examine an Oliver Stone-movie…:-)

  • Markku

    According to Variety, Lions Gate is releasing the film on October 17th and Scott Glenn has been cast as Donald Rumsfeld. No word yet on Cheney, tho.

  • RRA saw THE KEEP

    Markku, really?

    Awesome, Scott Glenn rules. Talk about an actor that Hollywood, and his agent, failed.

  • RRA Fumbles on Any Given Day of the Week

    Ryan, I think ANY GIVEN SUNDAY is a decent picture, but damn Stone’s editing…

    Let me put it this way: Rapid-fire ADD editing either works or doesn’t, and the later gives me headaches.

    Michael Bay? Always gives me a migraine.

    Paul Greengrass? Never.

    Stone? Not so on NBK, NIXON, and JFK…but AGS did.

    Other than my problems with the editing scheme, AGS is one of Stone’s very few commercial jobs in Hollywood, and its interesting to see him tackle both the Sports Movie and the Happy Ending, i.e. a generic story.

    Foxx, Diaz, Taylor, and others are quite good, though my favorite scene is when Diaz the hands-on, meddling clueless Owner berates Pacino in the locker room, and Pacino practically tells her to shut the hell up.

  • RRA Politicks this side of Triple H

    Opps, wrong thread!

  • RichardA

    Didn’t Harold and Kumar just basically covered all what we needed to know about George W. Bush? His relationship with Cheney and his father.

  • alynch

    One more casting bit, Toby Jones will play Karl Rove. Cheney remains the only major player uncast.

  • Faith

    Oddly enough, I see more John Kerry in that face than W.

  • Nixon is Stone’s masterpiece in my opinion. He’s made several very good films but nothing comes close to Nixon.

    Unfortunately, as RRA notes, he went downhill at 80 m.p.h. the moment that film was completed, evidently.

  • Friedl

    I think JFK is a blazing masterpiece. Sure its not accurate, especially wrt Kevin Costner’s character (so i hear), but as for the theory – sure its not history. He’s not saying its true, he’s saying what if it was. Its like Michael Moore – he’s not always factual. He rallies a point. A counter point. And that’s the point. Get my poi… no, I won’t go there.

    Regardless of factuality, JFK is a brilliant, searing work, imo.

    Nixon, tho, is an underrated achievement. Only seen it once, and wasn’t blown away by it, but very impressed. The acting is amazing, and Oliver Stone’s OTT style really works.

    AGS gave me a huge headache, but when I see bits of it on late night TV, i enjoy it. As a whole, i don’t approve of it tho.

    U-Turn has some great oddball editing.

  • Friedl

    oh yes, about the W movie…

    I dunno what to expect. Sceptical but very intruiged.
    Could they all be biting off more than they can chew.
    Most-dissapointing-case senario – the movie is SOMEhow neither great or awful, but inexplicably middle of the road. this has to go flaming all the way. either up or down.

  • Markku

    I reqatched Nixon, the long version, today. I must say, that film’s treatment of Nixon sounds very much like what they are doing with Dubya: including the sensationistic, negative aspects of the story (Nixon’s casual racism and paranoia; Bush’s bad temper and alcoholism) while at the same time acknowledging both men’s humanity. Whatever the film will be, don’t expect WTC kind of niceness and conformity this time around.

  • Mario Borroto

    There’s simply not enough time to “look back” on anything yet. This project is ridiculous and Stone is off his noggin’.

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