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
soundoff (80 Responses)
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Finally after hunting so many rubishy blogs, I finally find the information I have been looking for, thanks!
Very interesting read, I think their would be a lot of mixed opinions on this. Love the theme that you are using, what is it?
Im laughing at you clowns who think that Stone is a HISTORIAN as opposed to someone with an agenda who has a history of ONLY showing those things that support his agenda....you probably think Michael Moore is an unbiased reporter too.....the only good thing Stone ever put out was CONAN and thats only because everybody with half a brain KNEW that was fiction.....
I saw the clip of this movie "W" and I was really intrigued. I love Oliver Stone's work and feel that it will give us an inside look into this President.
On one hand Oliver Stone made "JFK" which said Lee Harvey Oswald was innocent and made Clay Shaw a villian. Of course Lee Harvey Oswald was guilty and Clay Shaw a victim of Jim Garrison's prejudices against homosexuals. A court of law easily found Clay Shaw innocent, but, Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone convicted him of crimes he had nothing to do with. Pray you never wind up being railroaded like Clay Slaw.
On the other hand, Oliver Stone made "World Trade Center" a decent film about 9/11 that was a good movie, though nowhere near as great as "United 93". With "WTC" I felt I was watching a movie, with "United 93", I felt I was on the plane with the passengers.
I will wait and see what the critics, and historians, have to say about Oliver Stone's movie about George W. Bush. I think that PBS's American Experience will probably make a excellent documentary about George W. Bush as they have with other presidents. Given a choice between American Experience and Oliver Stone, I'll take American Experience.
What's the deal with Laura saying one of her hobbies is smoking? Who says that? I know it's the 70's and everybody smokes, but no one lists it as a hobby. Weird.
Well jeeze, I can hardly wait...............Zzzzzzzzzzzz
Bush knows value, oogled at her teeth, before asking her phone number.
Fooled by Chaney and Wolfowitz, he now takes the blamee.
World is run by ? secret revealed by Catherine Austin Fitts .
When will the White House secrets come out, Monica style ?
Kennedy was a great president because the women respected quiet.
Fiddle and Faddle, as backups, when he struck out.
Mao tried to score more than past Emperors.
You have to score the president, not by wars, but by the score he runs up.
I met Laura Bush about 20 years ago and this clip reminds me a great deal of the woman I met. I met GW Bush about the same time and the straw cowboy doesn't quite hit what I remember of him. I can say he's no dummy, and people who say they don't like him are people I know have never met him. Anyway, Stone has a couple of great complex personalities to capture and I'll be going to see the movie for sure.
I'm really intrigued by the release date – two weeks before the presidential election! I had expected it to come out in late November, after the next four years were decided. I doubt a movie could have much of an impact on the vote, but it's interesting to think about.
CNN ONLY PUBLISHES COMMENTS WHICH GO WITH CNN POLICY OF BUSH BASHING ANYTHING POSITIVE THIS DEMOCRATIC RAG OF A STATION DOESN'T POST IT
History is judging Clinton just fine...Clinton was elected during a recession and delivered upon his promise to rescue the economy, balance our budgets and reduce national debt. He brought more respect to our country and the white house then Bush has and he got a BJ to boot. No one died when Clinton lied.
Its sad that you judge a leader by all the crisis's they deal with....I judge a leader who protects our nation and keeps us out of harms way. Anyone can go to war but only a true leader can keep us out of war and only a true leader can bring us victory if war is un-avoidable. Neither are qualities of Bush.
Anyone can watch a hurricane destroy a city and say inspiring words in the wake. But only a true leader can save its people in the wake of disaster and only a true leader can rebuild in the face of destruction.
Neither are qualities of Bush.
Anyone who says that the historic perception is still out on Bush's presidency is un-informed and narrow minded! First, in this day and age...the information age...too many facts are in the public domain to define history as one see's fit. The fact is and no amount of time will change it....Osama is free, Iraq was destroyed by us and in the longest war in our history privacy contractors, weapon companies and oil companies have posted record profits, no amount of time will change the destruction and horror we delivered upon the Iraq people, the Americans lost on 911 and those who drowed in New Orleans. The fact that Bush was reading 'my pet goat' while we were under attack, was on vacation while americans died in the waters on New Orleans for 5 days. No amount of time will hide all the thuths about Bush's policies and actions...so for all you crazies that think that his legacy is still an open book...i tell you for-get-about-it.
Vietnam is a growing democracy today...is Nixon getting the credit...NO! It remains a black stain in our history.
Bush is a monumental failure....now and forever!
The idea of Mr. "W" still being "our president" and we should like him no matter what, that's a whole other issue on itself and I'm only saying this because it's a reasoning too easy for me to accept.
This movie might show someone who is more "human" and that has different sides in his personal life then what is showned in the media, it might happen. But history will prevail (like it always do) and the truth will be showned wether it's from his actions and comments and impositions he's made public or from whatever is showned in the movie .
Everything that has been done by this presidency has been surrounded by darkness and controlled false statements and this movie in itself isn't made to show a better side of him but my hope is that it will show the true nature of a man who's destroyed and abused America.
Stone does make his research, done speak to many people before adding or putting things in a movie so the accusations of MR. Stone manipulating the truth isn't accurate. Sometimes the facts are right there in our face yet many peopel prefer to live in disbelief and blind faith in a presidency that is clearly lying and profiting from good citizens.
I just hope this movie clearly shows the one truth many people already knows.
I wouldn't walk across the street to see a movie about the man, let alone pay for it.
And that's exactly what Oliver did! Except it's Bigfoot, not Bigfood.
Please tell me someone didn't compare George W. Bush to Abraham Lincoln. Derek, really? Abraham Lincoln? Wow. What a wonderfully creative world you have made for yourself in that sick little head of yours.
Nathan August 28th, 2008 10:46 pm ET wrote"After 8 years of “W” you couldn’t pay me enough to sit through another 90 minutes. "
NATHAN, THAT IS BY FAR THE FUNNIEST COMMENT OF ALL THE 150 posted...LOVED IT AND I AGREE!!!!! THANX FOR THE LAUGH THIS MORNING!
I love Oliver Stone, but I cannot stand a president who refuses to listen to his people. History will show his Oval Office door was closed and only opened when Condoleeza or Cheney called. Therefore, I am not going to waste another ounce of my time reviewing the life of the man who completely sqandered the wealth of America. He may be a good family man, but that doesn't mean I give a $#1T about his love life or personal past. Let's not forget he could only get into a top school because he was a double or triple legacy. Did Oliver Stone forget to show this?
Lincoln received 212 electoral votes to McClellan's three. That is hardly a case of "barely" being re-elected. Lincoln was no saint, and much of his shine in the eyes of history started with his assassignation, but the comparison to Bush starts and ends with three facts: they held the same job, they were both Republicans (hardly the same party anymore) and they both have made questionable grabs at power during times of war.
As much as it may pain some, I believe Harry Truman is the more apt comparison if we believe Bush is going to be vindicated by history in any way.
When is this Bigfoot film set to be released?
Ahh...W!...another leftwing lovefest with Oliver and company here at CNN. I voted for Bush as the lesser of two evils (both times), and that's the way it was. He's a far better president than Bill and Hillary ever were. Oh, wait, this is a Liberal posting topic...free expression of ideas not accepted here - only hate speech and political correctness. Sorry. My mistake. Dump Obama '08!
This is a VERY bad precedent that should scare both parties to death. The film is clearly designed as a vehicle to throw the election in favor of Stone's choice (Obama). If it is perceived to have an impact on the election, then what happens in 2012? I'll tell you. There will be competing movies out in October 2012 explaining why both candidates on the ballot are evil reincarnations of Hitler out to burn the constitution. The voting public will conclude that candidates are evil devils out to ruin them, and they will stay home since they are screwed either way. And we'll set an all time record for low voter turnout.
This is not a good way to run a democracy.
Stone would do better making a movie about how Bigfood stubbed his toe on while crossing the creek at crawford, tx.
I bet Laura wishes she had stayed a Democrat!
Oliver Stone has made some decent movies if you see them for what they are, namely entertainment. Take his movies too seriously like he does and one could be led down the misguided path of delusion.
Anything about Bush is nauseating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do like Laura, but she did not get a bargain!!!!!
After the baloney that Stone presented in JFK, a movie that many still think accurately portrays the events leading up to the assassination of JFK, I wouldn't waste a dime to see a Stone film. This is a man who takes history and then bends and blisters it until it tells the story HE wants to tell – not what actually took place.
This guy could not do a remake of Bambi without making it controversial and packed with misinformation.
I'd have thought the Farrelly brothers would be better suited to chronicle the last eight years, but I guess Oliver Stone should have a chance to try his hand at comedy . . .
Why on Earth would anyone want to see a movie about Bush?I get mad just when he is on the news.
We can all be assured that Oliver Stone will do an even-handed portrayal in his film that he's releasing a month before a presidential election. Yea, right.
I agree with Nathan, WHO would pay money to see this thing for 90-120 minutes? It's hard enough to listen to Bush talk for 2 minutes (much less 2 hours). This is a guaranteed money looser.
You talk about Derek's education, but you don't read so well do you. He didn't say Bush would go down as an Abraham Lincoln, he simply pointed out that their Presidencies share some similarities. A great crisis; Horrible public opinion; and I'll add one more Derek forgot to mention – Both came EXTREMELY CLOSE to not being reelected. Then Derek pointed out that History is written by future generations and we may not yet understand how these 8 years will be viewed. His is the most thought provoking comment on this article but you missed it.
One more point for everyone to think about in considering how history will judge. Bill Clinton rode an economic wave courtesy of Bill Gates and friends and the most significant crisis of his years were a skirmish in Kosovo and a stain on a young girl's dress. George Bush rode the crashing of said wave and was saddled with crisis after crisis – 9/11, Katrina, worldwide terrorist activity, a war on two fronts (yes of his own making), etc. etc. Did he handle all of these things well? No, it doesn't appear so to me, but in 50 or 75 years when the effects of these decisions can actually be viewed and the goverment documents are released and you read about hundreds of terrorist plots foiled by the Bush Administration (maybe some that would have affected you personally) then what will you say. Be honest for a change...
seriously can anyone consider this to be history. It's like saying based on a true story and producing "the phantom tollbooth" (great book by the way.) Hollywood has such a hate on no one can take this seriously except for people far off the deep end. The rest can look at it as a comedy maybe.
Supporters of Bush will bash the film. Detractors of Bush will probably like the film. The bottom line is that the country is a mess and Bush must take a lot of the responsibility. While Mr. Stone may have an agenda to push, don't forget that there was a TV movie about 911 that the conservatives in Hollywood produced several years ago that was heavy in agenda pushing and loose with the facts as well. It works both ways, folks.
I agree with David Henneberry. It takes time for history to show the true results of a presidency.
How can any of you take this seriously???? Republican or Democrat. I am sick and I mean SICK of Hollywood playing politics. We as a country should be ashamed of ourselves for being so easily influenced. Hollywood is for ENTERTAINMENT.
What happened to respect for the office. And refering to our presidents as such. NOT Clinton or Bush but President Clinton and President Bush, etc.. The press has become so one sided it's silly. And whether you like someones politics or not that individual was elected by the majority of your country. So who is right??? Speak your mind but for crying out loud don't let some hollywood direct or tell you what your mind is.
And, come on, Oliver Stone??? He hasn't made a good movie in years. I suggest he turn to comedy. Because he really does make me laugh.
And in case you were wondering, I am neither republican nor democrat. I vote for the person that will best serve our country at the time. Realize something folks – no one party is correct. If you truly believe so I suggest you join Michael Jackson in Neverland.
I think Bush is probably a better person on a personal level than he is a president - not that being President at this time would be an easy job for anyone. I'd be interested in seeing the film from a human - not a political - perspective.
The movie should have been more appropriately titled "E" - "What Me Worry?" .........after Alfred "E" Newman from the cover of MAD magazine.
MEMO TO THE BUSH SUPPORTERS: BUSH IS A HORRIBLE PRESIDENT BUT I CAN ACCEPT HISTORY TREATING HIM A LOT BETTER IF MOVES HE MADE AS PRESIDNET SOMEHOW TURN OUT FOR THE BEST BUT I'M NOT GOING TO COMPARE HIM TO ABE LINCOLN AND THOSE THAT DO ARE QUITE FRANKLY OUT OF THIER MINDS!!!!!
After 8 years of "W" you couldn't pay me enough to sit through another 90 minutes.
How fake is that clip? Read up on his start on tx politics and you will find that he tried to play the intellectual Ivy leaguer route and got smoked in his first run. He hadn't sold out to be the sidewalk cowboy yet, with the hat, boots and fake accent like the clip shows. his campaign manager finally talked him into playing the role to win an election the next time around.
She doesn't even give you the impression of Laura Bush. But then those Hollywood producers have to impress.
They should get Rachel Maddow to play Mrs. Bush.
Although Lincoln was great, he was also human. Historical records show that Lincoln believed that the United States could no longer continue being half slave/half free, hense he believed more in protecting the union than freeing slaves or protecting the rights of non-whites. Lincoln also suspended several civil liberties during the Civil War.
Alas, any comparisons between Bush and Lincoln are premature, albeit, we must remember Lincoln was also human too.
I think it is in poor taste. But not suprising from Oliver Stone.
I also predict it will flop at the box office.
i am no fan of "W". But I can only hope that this won't be just another overly biased hack job, but a sincere attempt to portray an accurate picture of a flawed person and president.
And after all, aren't we all flawed?
I wonder if someone wouldn't do a similar Bio Pic on Oliver Stone, a man who made one decent movie and a bunch of horrible ones....
I like most Stone films, thought JFK was boring but found Nixon very balanced. He's got a lot of stuff to work with here, and the principles look perfect for their parts. Bush is going to take his medicine, but my opinion of Laura can only get better.
Bush fans aren't going to like his portrayal in this film, but it's a bad sign when revisionist history is the only thing they have left to cling to. Yeah, perceptions change, but some presidents hust didn't get going when the going got tough (think Johnson, Hoover, Johnson); everybody knew it then, and everyone still knows it now.
@ Derek: Lincoln was reelected in a landslide, won a morally just war he didn't start, and was assassinated by a loose cannon, a fact regretted by even prominent Southerners. And He never heard of the word or concept of "polling," coined in 1902.
My only hope is that Oliver Stone found some truth in this story he is telling. It would be a nice switch from his other tall tales.
Stone's angle has always been... back, and to the left... back and to the left... back and to the left...
The tag line on this article is inaccurate, this does not show HOW George met Laura, but is a dramatic representation of a writer/director/producers interpretation of how they think George met Laura.
That clip's actually cute! I'm not a big GW fan, but the movie looks like it might be fun to watch. I'll just wear a disguise to the theater or order it through netfliks (he, he...)
I love, absolutely love that a fact-twisting rabblerouser like Oliver Stone, who I have admired more than not, is doing a slash-and-burn bio of the worst president ever. There is something sweet in this revenge, much more than MMoore going after the Silver-Spoon. Here we get the lovely buffer of Oliver's smashcut dramatic license to tell Bush' deeper truths, though Bush is far from a deep man, what with his Freudian missteps that ran a country to war. I think it is incumbent on artists of all stripes to tell the truths, half-truths, lingering lies and just plain guesses about the egotistically challenged that become our leaders. Oliver's been a meglomaniac, coke-sniffing, girl chasing, egoist bent on smashing any Point Of View that doesn't confer his own. So this is a match made in heaven, 'cuz Ollie's been there and back and knows of who Bush is. Great. Can't wait to see it. Bring it, let's roll the reels, mission accomplished.
Um, Steve, study your history. Lincoln suspended many rights he had no right to suspend and did it in the name of the war. In hindsight, we see those as good decisions, but at the time, they were not seen as such. He also moved to abolish slavery not because he was a "good guy," but because he felt it would cripple the south.
Nobody can know how someone's actions are going to be portrayed later. The years take away the anger and show the results. We won't know the true "Bush" effect until years from now. It's quite possible he will appear as he does now, it's also possible history could show he was right.
Let's see how it all turns out.
A movie on Dubya? Since I can't help but laugh every time he utters a word, any genuine portrayal will result in this being a comedy.
I like the clip. It's amazing how much the actor sounds like Bush. I'm not a big Oliver Stone fan but this movie may be worth seeing.
Thank you Derek for comparing George W Bush to Abraham Lincoln. It is about time somebody put that into proper perspective. I look forward to the day when Lincoln's face is removed from the 5 dollar bill and the penny and replaced by W's wise gaze.
I also like how you mentioned that the reason Abraham Lincoln was assassinated was because most Americans "hated him." I believe most of these Americans got together and collectively decided to have him killed. They had a convention and John Wilkes Boothe was elected assassin. It was a beautiful ceremony and Boothe used his well-known acting talent to pull of a great acceptance speech. That's what happened back in the 1860's when most Americans hated you.
Derek your comments about Lincoln are not based in fact. By the time he was murdered by a disgruntled and frustrated actor with Southern sympathies he was idolized in the North. Even Pres. Davis thought the murder of Lincoln was a heineous crime and not favorable to the South's reconstruction.
To compare our very best President in Lincoln with our very worst President in George Bush is a laughable comparison. You need to pick up a couple of history books if you are going go online and write stuff that intelligent people are going to read. Otherwise you come off as un-read, kinda like our current President who seems to take great pride in his lack of intellectual curiosity.
Steve - I'm not the biggest Bush fan, but it is possible that he will go down in history as a great President. How? If Iraq turns into a powerful, stable, modern Democracy, and that influences the rest of the Middle East into become peaceful stable Democracies, that will be a legacy up there with Lincoln. He will have set us on a course of history that prevented WW/III from starting in the Middle East.
Of course, it may also not happen that way. We'll have to see.
I'm a diehard Dem, and while I do think he was a below average president, GWB has been very good on some fronts, especially the fight against AIDS and HIV. He may have made a dumb series of choices in concern to the wars we're fighting, but yet and still, I respect his faith, and the good he has done while in office. I think he gets a bad rap for looking so lost during speeches, and for the few slip-ups (waving to stevie wonder, falling off a segway, choking on a soft pretzel, etc) but in time, I think we'll lighten up towards him. Can't wait to see the movie.
From this short clip I see Oliver Stone has once again skewed history and portrays his subject as the opposite of the reality. The real W isn't socially adept enough to be able to pull off that phone number line on anyone.
What's with the close up of the potato salad being dished up? I hope he isn't trying to add a lot of stupid symbolism in this film, like the big heaping scoop of potato salad is symbolic of the gluttony of the GOP or the greediness of Texan Oil Men. That would be stupid.
Derek...you compare Bush to Abraham Lincoln? Nuts! Abraham Lincoln saved our great union from being split in two, he backed the constitution "that all men are created equal" and moved to abolish slavery. Are you kidding. Bush is no Abraham Lincoln...you are one child who was left behind when it comes to education.
I lived in Midland for awhile in the 1980s and and grew up in West Texas in the 1960s and 1970s. It is very unlikely that anyone at a barbecue in Midland in the early 1970s would have worn a cowboy hat. It's also highly unlikely that everyone at a barbeque would have worn one. Midland is an oil town, not a cowtown. Not many people wear cowboy hats. Geez.
I have to laugh at the stereotype. I live in Texas and I have not seen that many straw cowboy hats in 20 years.
I've seen this guy Brolin act before and he has always done a good job. Here he appears to have 'W' down packed. The manuerisms, posture, body language, tone and voice and he even looks like the guy. I have a feeling this performance will be Oscar worthy. Heck of a job Brolin.
Who really cares. They are a two has beens that should have been gone years ago.
After seeing this clip I guess it is safe to say that George W. Bush is as much a stud in his personal life as he is in his presidency! I wish he could run for a third term!
Hmm, they should wait till his term is over at least, I hate stories that have more to tell...although they are probabably waiting to do a sequel, after all this is hollywood, why put the story in one move when you can have subchapter money makers.
slick..if this really happened...you can tell she's playing the open minded card being a democrat in texas..today its definitely the other way around for republicans...
So, the conversation was this casual....Stone succeeds in setting the right character, but the script seems a bit over the top. It's almost like 2 lines would make the point, but Stone throws in 5 lines of cowboy rhetoric to paint Bush. Pretty typical. The movie doesn't look very innovative, but mundane character assassination. I am not a Bush supporter, but it would have been interesting to see the pattern of supporters and fools who fell in line to elect this idiot. The typical trashing seems archaic.
Laura must feel the burn on the inside, supporting her husband as she should while coming to the realization (based on her roots) that she sleeps with the devil. She must tell herself everyday, I must support him and all the baggage he brings and with all his faults....after all her ability to do that proves she is a tolerant liberal at heart.
I think its a great idea. I think Bush catches a bad rep that is somewhat undeserving. No, I don't think he's the smartest President we ever had, but he's still our President. I know he did a lot better than most Americans that criticize him. Hopefully the motion picture will let people see another side of him that isn't from a teleprompter.
Also side note, there was another President that was "hated" as much as George Bush. During this President's term, he had horrible polling, most Americans hated him. Hated him so much he was assassinated. That President was Abraham Lincoln. Let's see what happens in a decade or two as a result of this war and then decide what we think of his decisions.
They call it W but it could be called AH!
This move seems like it is coming about four years to late. Stone in all of his glory and his mastery of cinema could finally bring the truth behind our "goofy child president" to the eyes and ears of the nation which elected him twice. Hopefully, leaving them with one question on their mind...Why?
Cool another history lesson from Oliver Stone!!!
Looks like an intriguing movie, can't wait to see it! The casting seems perfect. Let's just hope Oliver Stone can keep to the facts and the truth this time, but, given his track record, I'm not holding my breath. But I will buy a ticket to the movie when it's released!
History will remember this presidency in a completely different light than it is being portrayed at the moment.
Love the idea! Can't wait to see it!