N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis doesn’t claim that Oliver Stone‘s W. is outright fiction, but she seems to imply it’s the next thing to it. This doesn’t square with my understanding that 98% of W. is taken straight from verified historical accounts. There ‘s a certain amount of dramatic embroidery all through W., of course, but the only baldly fictional portions are the Cheney/Dreyfuss conference room speech (“There is no exit strategy — we stay”) and the Oval Office dream sequence at the end, or so I’ve understood.
“Mr. Stone’s take on the president, as comic as it is sincere, is bound to rile ax-grinders of every ideological stripe, particularly those who mistake fiction for nonfiction,” she writes. “History informs its narrative arc from Texas to Iraq, but it should go without saying that this is a work of imagination, a directorial riff on real people and places complete with emotion-tweaking music cues, slo-mo visuals and portentous symbolism. It says nothing new or insightful about the president, his triumphs and calamities. (As if anyone goes to an Oliver Stone movie for a reality check.).”
Where’s that scene-by-scene W. fact-resource site?