Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Brand is Crisis

The title of this movie doesn't seem to have a cinematic attraction, and you won't really get it until half way through the story. It is loosely based on the 2005 documentary of the same name by by Rachel Boynton, about the American political campaign strategies used by Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election with a screenplay by Peter Straughan and directed by David Gordon Green. The political satire, although set in South America, seems to be apropos to the current presidential campaigns here in the states.

Sandra Bullock plays Jane Bodine who was once a superstar campaign strategist but quit after losing four elections and earning the nickname Calamity Jane. Living in alone in the mountains, she had stopped drinking and smoking and now makes pottery to fight her depression. Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd playing Ben and Nell come to hire her to help their candidate Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida) win the election in Bolivia. At the moment he's far down the list in the polls. Castillo was once president of the country but his lousy policies got him voted out of office. He is also not very media savvy, not coming across very well on camera. Jane, hit with altitude sickness being in La Paz, Bolivia, is not exactly thrilled with the prospect of doing this job. Her initial reaction is that they are going to lose. She begins to dig in when she learns the leading opponent is being managed by her old time nemesis Pat Candy(Billy Bob Thornton). They politely tolerate each other while playing dirty tricks to each others candidates. One has to wonder why these candidates have hired slick Americans to run their campaigns when they don't really understand the needs of the people living in the country.

It is Jane's strategy to play up Castillo's lack of natural charisma by making him the candidate that is tough because the country is in crisis. They make the campaign...branding it “Crisis”. That's the message to show the voting public that Castillo will not sugar coat like his rivals. Jane has him put on work shirts, roll up his sleeves, and fire up his audiences with what they want to hear.

Eddie (Reynaldo Pacheco) is a volunteer at their headquarters. His father was a supporter of Castillo back during his first term as president. Eddie is the everyman in the story, hoping for the betterment of the country, and falling into the hype being surrounded by Castillo. Even the world weary Jane finds a connection to the innocent hope that Eddie represents.

Everyone does a good job with what they have to work with. Bullock looks absolutely radiant despite the attempts to make her look ill and tired. Thornton channeling James Carville, drips with smarmy sarcasm. There is some excitement as Jane starts to fire up the team and the movie ends with sort of a hopeful outcome. Overall the movie is somewhat entertaining, but it will be hard sell to the general movie going public that want to go out on the weekend.
(Review by reesa)

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