The only thing I’ve heard about Steven Gaghan’s Syriana (Warner Bros., 11.23 limited) that’s sunk in to any degree is that it’s “very political.” In other words, the person who conveyed this view feels it doesn’t deliver as well in emotional, beating-heart terms. Ignore it…blue-state-persuasion people really want this movie to work. The excellent trailer suggests that the aim of Syriana (a really annoying title) is to be a Traffic-type exploration of the who-what-why behind 9/11..a probing of the politics of Big Oil, Middle Eastern subcurrents, radical Islamic rage and alienation…the whole magillah. One of those tapestries with several different characters and storylines in which “everything is connected.” Gaghan’s Oscar-winning Traffic screenplay showed him to be a superb converter-transposer of gritty real-world mucky-muck into highly absorbing movie material (okay, with Steven Soderbegh’s modest assistance), and the first film he directed, 2002’s Abandon with Katie Holmes, was certainly tolerable…stylistically assured, engaging here and there. The first Syriana press screening happens on 11.9 or thereabouts, and I’m psyched. But why am I getting this feeling of hesitancy from Warner Bros. publicity? Are they feeling antsy about the political content and feel it might be safer on some level to sit on the film until a couple of weeks before the 11.23 limited opening…or are they exuding this dithering vibe for some other reason? Pic opens wide on 12.3.