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The Trouble With Condi

by Odie Henderson April 7, 2008 9:01 am
Casting for Ollie Stone's George W. Bush biopic has taken a turn for the Beloved. Stone, in his infinite wisdom, cast Thandie Newton in the role of Condoleeza Rice. This is a major step up from being the lust object of Eddie Murphy's Norbit and Simon Pegg's running fat boy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Stone's screenplay has numerous scenes where the beautiful Ms. Newton can shine as Condi. There's just one problem: Thandie Newton can't act her way out of a paper bag. She's astonishingly beautiful, but constantly being cast in heavy roles she can't handle. It's like casting Elmo as Hamlet. Stone might be able to wring a good performance out of her, provided he can stop imposing his directorial will on every frame of the film, wrestling attention away from the actors as he usually does.

Newton may share the screen with fellow Brit Ioan Gruffudd, whom Stone, in his finite wisdom, cast as Tony Blair. Gruffud looks less like Blair than Newton does Condi, but I'm sure they can La Vie En Rose both of them to the point where the makeup wins the Best Visual Effects Oscar. In fact, this will have to be done to the entire cast, as James Brolin doesn't look anything like a certain C student from Yale. There's just one problem with the Blair casting, and stop me if you've heard this before: Ioan Gruffudd can't act. Granted, not even Olivier in his prime could have made the Fantastic Four dialogue work, so perhaps I'm being too hard on him.

Neither Dick Cheney nor Karl Rove have been cast, but I'm expecting Stone to do something wacky there too. I sat here thinking who would make good casting for Rove and Cheney, but my brain kept conjuring up Satan and Elmer Fudd with spectacles and a quail. So I'm going to leave it up to the readers. Who'd make a good Cheney? I can see Stone casting one of his former stars like Sir Tony Hopkins, though he'd make a better toe-tapping Larry Craig, along with Bill Pullman in old man makeup as John McCain.

If nothing else, I'm dying to hear the TV commercial announcer say the movie's title and its MPAA rating. It's going to sound like the end of Sesame Street. "W is brought to you by the letters P, and G, and the number 13."

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