I have never seen an Oliver Stone movie. Nor have I ever much been interested in one. Actually, I may have watched U Turn quite a few years ago. And for a time I wanted to track down The Hand. That would be the extent of my knowledge. I never really had a reason to dislike him. That is, until World Trade Center, who's very existence offended me on every level. "Too soon," everyone said, and it sure as hell was. 2050 would have been too soon. Well, if WTC was too soon, Stone has indeed trumped himself.

But somehow I couldn't resist the idea of a liberal director's supposedly fair and balanced take on the Bush administration. So what do we get? Fair? I suppose. Stone shows us where W. came from, ponders his possible motivations, and it's all very hard to dismiss. Ebert's description was "fascinating," and that is about perfect. There has never been a movie like this. So, finally, we approach this as fun, which it somehow is, even though the events and characters portrayed are so painfully real and unfunny. Stone seems to understand this, as he makes almost no attempt to judge the Bush presidency in any specific way other than to present the possible private scenarios (alongside many actual documented meetings and actions) that may have been it's impetus.

The casting is pretty great. I'll pay to see Dreyfuss do anything worthwhile, and his smarmy, growling Cheney is perfect. I've heard a lot of complaints about Thandie Newton as Condie, but I thought she was just fine. And Brolin, whom the film hangs on, shows some massive chops. He plays G.W. as he surely is; an entitled rich kid from Texas, sucking on Lone Star beer in honky tonks, slurping down sandwiches in the White House. A jealous, power-lusting, unloved president's son. So why is this OK and not World Trade Center? Well, because the events of 9/11, unlike the presidency of George W. Bush, deserve immense reverence.

In the end, could there be any more damning statement than to simply portray the events in such a way that even Bush supporters could not decry it? I doubt it. But can you laugh at it? I don't blame you if you can't. But what else is left?

He lost in in the lights. What are you gonna do... ?

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