W. Reminds Us of What We'd Rather Forget

Oliver Stone assigns motive to Dubya's m.o., but at this point, who cares?

Did you ever think that if only the man had kept drinking, we wouldn't be in this mess? Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks as W. and Laura.
Did you ever think that if only the man had kept drinking, we wouldn't be in this mess? Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks as W. and Laura.

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Directed by Oliver Stone. Written by Stanley Weiser. Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Burstyn and James Cromwell. Opens Friday.

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Many more people will see W.'s choice moments as de facto campaign ads on TV or YouTube than will ever sit through the movie. W. may be opening at a good time, but it doesn't exactly promise one. Stone omits the stolen 2000 election, stops short of the 2004 campaign, and spares us the second term, but this is still a painful movie to endure. I blame history more than Stone for that—it's a shame that when the filmmaker contemplated the nature of imperial hubris four years ago, the gods decreed he should unleash Alexander rather than this. Back then, W. might actually have made a difference.

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