The New York “Vulture” guys were right, of course, in reporting yesterday that the first reactions to Oliver Stone‘s W. — the reviews by Variety‘s Todd McCarthy and the Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt — weren’t so hot. But the reaction among junket journalists I spoke to yesterday was mostly approving. Really.
They weren’t exactly Redbull-ed by it, but then neither was I. My reaction was one of intrigue, engagement and finally sadness, having been moved by the tragic aura around this poor dope. The film is brisk and mordantly funny as it rushes along, but it’s finally a sad story about an unhappy man. It’s not a firecracker madball thing as much as a smartly designed, souped-up Corvette with a purring engine that you almost need to see twice get the full boost. I saw it again yesterday morning and there was no diminishment. I felt just as stimulated, tickled and satisfied as I did the first time, and just as affected by the ending.