Tuesday, May 05, 2009

sorkin crush

This is a bit out of the norm for the new format of this site, but a lack of content (and a long work day tomorrow) means a few days without any other kind of post. I decided instead to discuss my greatest guilty pleasure.

As a half ass film student I've watched many of the "great" films (still have many more to watch) and I can appreciate a good film with anyone. However, and I was not even aware of this until my recent obsession with show The West Wing, but apparently I have a real thing for films that involve politics. A discussion of my favorites (in no particular order):

The American President (1995)
Oddly enough, this is where my love of political films (and Aaron Sorkin) begins. Not a particularly deep film, not exactly fluff either. It's a Rom Com disguised as a film about politics, and it sucks me right in with one of my favorite casts ever (and one of Michael J. Fox's best roles). It's on TV probably 20 times a year on various cable networks.
"My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the President of the United States of America"

Dave (1993)
My favorite Kevin Kline movie and a fairly underrated 90s comedy (with a shockingly high Tomatometer) is one of my earliest political film loves. As I write this I'm learning more that it's not films about politics that I've always loved, just films that took place in the White House.

My Fellow Americans (1996)
Would never be mistaken for an Oscar winning film and I don't have much defense for liking it besides the fact that it involves the presidency and some fantastic actors. Also, Bradley Whitford from The West Wing!
"...hail to the chief, he's the chief and he needs hailing."

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
More Sorkin love here, though this one is based on a true story. Star power galore (Hanks, Roberts, Hoffman) and a fantastic screenplay make this a great film. Sorkin is the king at keeping a film deep and technical yet fun and full of personality at the same time.

JFK (1991)
The only film on this list I consider to be a true masterpiece. Oliver Stone took great liberties with the facts surrounding John Kennedy's assassination and the investigation into it. The film is almost entirely dialogue, yet still extremely visual. The editing, the numerous cameos, the only role where I don't hate Kevin Costner, and the Donald Sutherland scene are just a few reasons why this film is so enjoyable. It also seems to say more about how we as Americans view our own history than it does about John Kennedy.

"...back, and to the left...back, and to the left..."

These aren't all of the films that involve politics that I enjoy, but the ones I enjoy the most (couldn't decide if Dr. Strangelove was technically a political film so I left it off of here, though it easily would have topped this list). What else should I see?

1 comment:

Eric Naylor said...

I too can't help but love The American President. If I catch it on TV, I'll stop searching. I also have a strange connection to the movie Speechless with Michael Keaton - it has a pre-fall Christopher Reeve. I may have possibly switched JFK for either Good Night, and Good Luck or All The President's Men - also a film almost entirely dialogue but with a strong and subtle visual execution. . .more movie posts!