Oliver Stone directs this movie like a parody of an Oliver Stone movie. In the movie, Bush is seen having a dream of standing in the middle of an empty baseball stadium, but still hearing the roar of an approving crowd. It's pretty trippy and feels very, well, Oliver Stoneish. I get the sense that Stone was a little depressed that he couldn't do things like that in World Trade Center, so he ratcheted up the surreality to appease his fetish. Those scenes are cool, but they are unnecessary and don't fit with the rest of the movie. But he does make some deft and smart choices when tackling this story. For one, the plot is chopped up so that the scenes of Bush's booze drenched frat days are interspersed with scenes of his Presidency. It's not told in order, so we don't see a whole hour of tedious staff meetings. It stays interesting. He also gives Bush a character that makes you sympathize with the man, even if you don't want to. According to Stone, Bush was always second in his father's eyes. He very much wants to be accepted by his dad as a successful guy, but his dad seems so preoccupied with other things. This leads Bush to invade Iraq; to please his dad by taking down Saddam Hussein, with whom his dad harbored a grudge. It becomes apparent right from the get go that he is just a idiot who gets in over his head. Not for his lack of trying, however. He is fed the wrong information, and is alright with calling his staff on that fact, i.e., no nukes in Iraq. He is just human, and, despite how you feel about the real man, you will feel a bit sorry for him when the movie is over.
W. is not a great movie, it's just a good one. It strikes close to home in this day in age, what with the election and the general abhorring of our president in out country. It's has great performances, a deep and conflicted lead, and some good tongue in cheek humor. Oliver Stone turns a good film, not his best, but certainly one of his most well put together.