As promised, albeit few days late, here are some of my thoughts on W. in no particular order.
1. Josh Brolin is hot.
2. Stone uses food and drink as a stylistic device throughout the film. The chewing, the ice in the glasses, the sloshing bottles of liquor were all highlighted in weird cinematic ways, lighting, slo-mo, enhanced sound. Don't miss: the pecan pie service during the meeting wherein Chiefs of Staff acknowledge there are no WMD in Iraq.
2.5 . All the Chief of Staff meetings were delicious to watch. Total fiction? Probably, but who cares?
3. Richard Dreyfuss is a perfect Darth Cheney--down to (quite literally) the teeth.
4. The filmmakers have posted their own fact-checking site.
5. Bush is depicted with more sympathy than I expected.
6. The movie was about 20 minutes too long. The back story could have been tightened.
7. Bush senior (James Cromwell) did not recall George H. accurately for me.
7.5. Rove (Toby Jones) also only got about 50 percent for me.
8. The film needed better timing and a few more sweeping "big screen" moments such as the war protest montage.
9. It's not a deep film. This is about entertainment.
10. I didn't even remember CIA head man George Tenet (Bruce McGill). Stuff like that came flooding back to me during the film.
11. Stone projects contrast via caricature again and again. He does it within W most notably. Brolin is dead-on as W with mannerisms and appearance, but his interaction with food is almost cartoonish. Then there is Condi Rice (Thandie Newton) who is a complete caricature.
12. Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn) was a major character that fell flat. Why? I couldn't understand it. There was so much about him to play upon--the impish evil grin, the flirting with the camera. Stone left all of that on the table.
13. Michael Gaston's Gen. Tommy Franks is a minor character that is a very satisfying caricature. Who didn't want to see this guy portrayed like an asshole?
14. I liked the ending.
15. Did I mention that Josh Brolin is hot?