W. from director Oliver Stone follows the life of George W. Bush from the mid-60’s up until about the end of his first term as president.

I’ve made no secret what I think of the real President Bush, but W. did something I never thought would happen:  I actually felt sorry for George W. Bush. Oliver Stone and Josh Brolin really humanize the man that would be the worst US president in history.

The movie really focuses on W., not the events around him.  Like W., the moments of history are there, but they are just as important as say, the latest episode of Sports Center he loves to watch.  Maybe I’m biased for this movie because it portrays W. exactly as I’d thought he’d be:  A guy that lived in the shadow of his father all his life.  He was a perennial fuck up that finally managed to out-do his dad, only to have the rug pulled out from under him when he got in over his head in Iraq.  With Oliver Stone, I normally expect to be beaten over the head with the point of the movie, but this time, he’s very nuanced.  And a visual towards the end, turns into such a devastating critique of the entire administration that it was probably 100 times more effective than 1000 Special Comments on Countdown.

Some of the moments and the real lines that come out of Josh Brolin have been moved and the events have been telescoped somewhat, but it’s true to the material.  Half way through the movie, you just want to pick up W., shake him and say, “Dude!  Please think!  Just this once!”  But thinking is not W.  He’s too busy trying to convince us and himself that he can do something better than memorize fraternity nicknames (irony!).

I guess the scariest thing in the movie is that is feels so honest, especially in the scene where his advisers pass the buck.  So bloated and routine, war becomes banal for everyone but W. who is still only one interested even if it is just to one-up his dad.  And the woman who played Condi Rice was amazing.  Richard Dreyfeuss as Cheney too.

I give this movie 8 beer kegs.  Although, I must warn you, I am a news junkie.  If you’ve been asleep for the past 8 years or haven’t at least read a George W. Bush quote calendar, you may miss a few things.   Let’s hope the next Frat Boy that becomes the president will do better.