OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
Direction: David Gordon Green
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton
Combining sociopolitical satire with a personal redemption drama, here’s a fictionalised account of the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Our Brand Is Crisis strives to provide a fresh look at the US overseen-South American election campaign.
The Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock portrays an American political strategist lured out of self-imposed retirement to help revive the flagging fortunes of a former Bolivian president. Employing less-than-honourable tactics, the spin doctor and her team of pollsters, researchers and media mavens are determined to lead their unfancied candidate to victory.
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Nicknamed “Calamity Jane” because of her troubled past, the recovering alcoholic, who has lost all her recent ballot-box battles, desperately needs to score a win over her long-time opponent (Thornton) who has been hired to manage the campaign of the rival contender. The screenplay is peppered with zany incidents such as a cliffhanger bus chase, a drunken night out on the town and the unscrupulous manoeuvre involving the campaign mascot Llama. There’s plenty of sharp talking political banter too.
Unfortunately, the film never reaches the same delirious comic heights of Dr Strangelove (1964) or Wag The Dog (1997) which remain the gold standards for Hollywood political satires. Despite its cloying, cop-out of a climax, Our Brand Is Crisis merits a look-see.