Oliver Stone gets points for speed and efficiency — he shot the picture over 46 days this spring and summer on a tiny $30 million budget and gave it a rich, polished look — but not for the scope of his vision,” writes Time‘s Richard Corliss. “W. isn’t tragedy or farce; it’s illustrated journalism, based mostly on extant Bush biographies and memoirs of early Bush appointees. All the incidents are there but not the insight. What’s missing is the one thing Stone films have never lacked: a point of view.”
W. says Bush is a mediocre Oedipal figure (i.e., driven by father issues) and therefore, as repugnant as he may be in straight-up political terms, to be finally pitied. This isn’t a point of view? Sure seems like one. It never really sank in before I saw W. that George W. Bush is a fundamentally sad and trapped fellow. However accurate this view may be, it’s now with me and that’s the doing of Oliver Stone. The certainty of mind I’ve had all these years in simply despising Bush is, for better or worse, no more.