Lacks the Interest of Stone's "Nixon"
Reviewed by criddic2 for W. at 2011-04-22 02:14:07
Like him or hate him, George W. Bush was one of the more engaging personalities to occupy the White House. Josh Brolin does capture some of that in this movie, but neither he or the director (Oliver Stone) seem to know what they want to say about the man. Some scenes go for muted satire, while others go for strained drama. Very few have the feeling of authenticity. Maybe that's because they couldn't (or wouldn't) explore these people as they really are, going mainly for who they are perceived to be by some. Stone was able to bring compelling character backround and historical balance to his "Nixon" in 1995 (with the help of the great Anthony Hopkins). Here he doesn't even approach that. It delves lightly, rather than deeply, into the story of a president who was popular enough to win re-election and controversial enough to inspire fierce debate over his policies. We don't get into much of that in 'W,' since the focus is on the first term and the father/son relationship between two presidents.
Wall Street is a cunningly complex film. The screenplay is amazing, the acting is powerful (particularly the on-screen tension between Sheen and Douglas), and the direction (of renowned Oliver Stone) is perfect. Taut, intelligent movies don't get much better than this, folks.