I should have mentioned this yesterday, but George Clooney‘s intention to make a dark and dry political comedy out of Rachel Boynton‘s Our Brand Is Crisis is a very good one. The people who loved Wild Hogs will stay away in droves, but if it’s done right Clooney’s adaptation could be a great metaphor piece about Americans trying to export its own culture and values — i.e., American political values by way of spin, focus groups, compassionate lying and image-massaging — into other cultures and making things much worse in the process.
Boynton’s doc is anything but “funny” — it’s a dry piece of verite you-are-there analysis — but as soon as I read Pamela McLintock and Adam Dawtrey‘s Variety story about the idea of molding it into a comedy, a light went on. I said to myself, “Yes, this’ll work f it’s written well. It could even be perfect.”
Our Brand Is Crisis is about a political consulting firm called Greenberg Carville Shrum (CGS) being hired to help the 2002 presidential campaign of Bolivian presidential candidate Gonzalo “Goni” Sanchez de Lozada of the MNR Party. He was a cigar-smoking rich guy with his hand out who didn’t get it, but hesmart enough to use the (very expensive) services of CCS. Goni paid the fee and the gang flew down to Bolivia (among them consultant Tad Devine, Jeremy Rosner and James Carville) to do what they could. “Goni “was elected, but then teh countruy’s economy worsened and the people took to the streets and he was finally forced to resign.
Boynton’s doc is about days of GCS Bolivian brainstorming sessions, focus groups, carefully staged TV appearances and whatnot. Some guy on an Amazon response forum called it The War Room, Part II: The Bolivian Years.
Variety reported that Clooney’s Smoke House will produce (with Clooney, Grant Heslov and Nina Wolarsky sharing duties). British writer Peter Straughan will adapt, and Clooney could either director or costar.