W. script reviewed by Bush biographers
Four authors who have written about George Bush and his life in and out of the White House have been given the script for Oliver Stone's upcoming film about the man, W., and they have some very interesting comments.
Mainly they pick on individual scenes to state their inaccuracies, but there's also some positives to be had, and hearing some of the things that actually happened is quite a surprise.
Oliver Stone's W. is going to be quite an interesting release as the plan is to release it just before the President leaves office in the next elections, and so there may be extra pressure on the film and the director to make it as historically accurate as possible.
However when The Hollywood Reporter sent a copy of the script to four Bush biographers they had a mixed reaction to it. Of course there's a big thing to remember up front, and that's the fact that the version of the script they had was from October 2007 and is entitled Bush. Reuters says that a source told them that since then the script has gone through a further two versions.
The article says that the biographers felt that…
"…specific scenes are largely based in fact but noted that the screenplay contains inaccurate and over-the-top caricatures of Bush and his inner circle."
One of the authors, Robert Draper said:
"It leaves you with the impression that the White House is run as a fraternity house with no reverence for hierarchy, the office itself or for the implications of policy…Everybody calling everybody else nicknames and chatting about whether to go to war as if they were chatting about how to bet on a football game really misses the mark of how many White Houses, including this one, are run."
There were further comments about the depiction of the relationship between Dick Cheney and George Bush, with some saying that it wasn't as competitive, and others saying it was more so, and that there was more tension and conflict than the script suggests.
They agreed on various scenes though, such as the discussion over whether they would use the phrase axis of hatred or axis of evil, or where a drunken Bush challenges his father to a fist fight.
Although Oliver Stone has declined to comment on the report, people will start to critic the script based on these comments, something that would be wholly unfair if the script has been through a further two drafts.
That said the screenwriter Stanley Weiser said that he had no comment other than…
"…the fact that I have read 17 books on Bush."
A sentiment that was echoed by Moritz Borman, one of the producers on the film who said that they had done their homework and would be…
"…guided by facts that have been established and documented."
Bill Block, the man who financed the film, also said:
"When you embark on something as important as this…the truth is extremely important, and Oliver is relentless about the truth and facts."
Something I'm not sure I entirely agree with. He may be relentless about facts but the entirety of JFK and Nixon aren't all solid fact based and do have assumptions and interpretations in them. I think it's fair to say W. will follow the same vein.
However I wonder if they will have to be more factual and accurate than ever before, especially when they are releasing a film about the current President of the United States which will more than likely call into question a great number of his decisions and events during his presidency.
Do you think that Oliver Stone is going to be totally fair and unbiased as well as completely factual? If not do you think there's a problem with making some assumptions and interpreting moments for the big screen on such an important film and political presence?