We like the simplicity. But if the goal is to recreate some semblance of authentic reality, a little background mise-en-scene might be nice, yeah? Is the bowed head and downcast expression supposed to trick us into thinking Brolin resembles Bush by any reasonable stretch of the imagination? By casting his averted eyes in shadow, hidden behind an anonymous arm, are we expected to believe Brolin will look up and miraculously morph into whatever they’re not showing us? (Because omigod, in just the right light, Josh looks exactly like… James Brolin! It’s uncanny!) I want to believe Stone chose this teaser shot to carry some meaning deeper than, “Look! they’re manufacturing an image!” — like maybe a subtle retaliation for the Right’s harping on John Edwards very bad hair day. But for me, every new artifact from “W” makes it look more and more like a 2-dimensional cardboard cutout than any attempt to tell the real story.
As mild as the tagline “Get Ready” may be in terms of amping up expectations, does our real-life experience of Bush on camera really make anyone tingle in restless anticipation? At the very least, the framing and starkly-lit emphasis does seem to confirm one thing we learned from the trailer: “W” will be a fabulous latex showcase spotlighting a fascinating array of fake noses. Nope, not wild about this one-sheet, in spite of its one impressive achievement: It does make us feel like we’re up-close and personal, smack in the middle of the action, in the most intimate proximity to the President. Maybe that’s why I feel a little queasy.