The industry view about Oliver Stone directing World Trade Center (Paramount, 8.11) is that apart from whatever he feels about the story or the theme or the characters, it’s basically his making-up-for-the-failure-of-Alexander movie. A Stone movie by way of a dutiful head-down attitude and an application of craft rather than any kind of fire-in-the-belly motivation. A submissive Stone, almost. Bending over backwards to make a corporate “heart” movie without even tangentially getting into his political beliefs or intuitions about 9/11, which he expressed at a panel discussion called “Making Movies That Matter: The Role of Film in the National Debate” at Avery Fisher Hall less than a month after the fall of the towers: “And I think the revolt on September 11 was about order,” Stone began. “It was about fuck you, fuck your order…it was an eruption of rage about this. And is it time perhaps to reconsider the world order? Is it time to wonder why the banks have joined the movie companies and all the corporations, and where this is all going? And the Arabs have a point. Whether it’s right or wrong, there’s an objection to the way the world is going. There’s a lot of hate and revolt in that state. It may continue and although the shoe may drop on the other foot the next time, the point is they’re objecting to something. And I say that we’re not dealing with that objection [in this panel discussion] today. There was a breakdown in the ’90s, in the system, the world system, the world banking system…it’s the new world order, and it’s about order and control, but this control comes with a cost.” This is my Oliver Stone… the nervy envelope-pusher, the Angry Guy…the confrontationist who used to challenge, dazzle, confront, dig into and take a no-holds-barred look at tough subjects. I’m saying this because screenwriter Andrea Berloff has told Time that World Trade Center is “a boy-down-a-well saga with no politics…a small story.” There’s something ostrich-y about making a 9/11 movie of this sort. From a political perspective I think it’s a little bit appalling, given what the tragedy of 9/11 was actually about and how corporate Hollywood (by way of producers Michael Shamberg and Stacy Sher) has enlisted one of the few guys in the industry who was willing to spit out some hard political truths about that day…how Hollywood has gotten Stone, of all people, to make what sounds like an emotional cottonball “there, there” movie, intended to sooth and assuage and make people want to go home and hug their kids.