In the Dark

Wantum and Quantum

Produced by Emperor Motion Pictures
Directed by Oliver Stone
Screenplay by Stanley Weiser
Distributed by Lionsgate

Quantum of Solace
Produced and distributed
by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Marc Forster
Screenplay by Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis


It’s too bad W., Oliver Stone’s satiric biopic of his Yale classmate and our 43rd President, didn’t come out four years ago.  We might have been spared George W. Bush’s second term and enjoyed a comic dividend.  One can only imagine the fun of watching John F. Kerry impersonating John F. Kennedy by way of Ichabod Crane these last four years, his performance wittily enhanced by Ms. 57 Varieties at his side.

But Stone waited until after the damage had been fully done to tell us W.’s been a bad president.  His thesis is elegantly simple.  Bush suffers Oedipally, wanting alternately to please and to outshine his distant father.  Like most elegant explanations, this one beclouds as much as it illumines.  Human behavior, being ineluctably social, has too many permutations to be explained so cleanly.  Still, Stone does a fair job with the how of Bush’s performance, if not the why.

Stone makes the case that, over the past eight years, the father-lorn Mr. Bush...

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