August 28th, 2008
05:15 PM ET

CNN exclusive: 'W.' shows when George met Laura

There’s been a great deal of talk - and, of course, some controversy - about Oliver Stone’s “W.,” due to be released October 17. (See an exclusive clip from "W.")

Elizabeth Banks plays Laura Bush in "W."

Certainly the idea is audacious. A film about a sitting president? Whose term in office may be the most contentious of modern times? By Oliver Stone?

But, as Stone has said, “W.” isn’t just a film about President Bush’s politics (though that’s what has most of the tongues wagging). The director is also trying to offer a biographical portrait of the 43rd president, which means paying attention to the quieter, more quotidian moments in his life.

In this scene, the future president meets Laura Welch - soon to become Laura Bush - for the first time. The two were opposites in many ways, not least because Laura was a Democrat who backed the darling of the peace movement, Eugene McCarthy, in the 1968 election, nine years before she met George W. Bush.

"Even though he was a partying Republican candidate for Congress, and she was a Democratic librarian, there was something bigger between them that lasted," Stone tells CNN. Referring to the clip, he continues, "Their meeting at the barbecue has been documented by family friends in numerous books. For them, it was the best thing that ever came out of a Texas barbecue."

Laura Bush, in fact, comes off as quite intriguing in the clip - and there may be more to come. Next month Curtis Sittenfeld’s “American Wife,” a fictionalized biography of the First Lady, hits bookstores. Like "W.," Sittenfeld's novel has also earned its share of chattering-class conversation.

What are your impressions of this "W." clip and the idea of the movie?

– Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer


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