Eric D. Snider

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Why isn’t ‘W.’ screening in Portland?

Here’s a puzzlement. Oliver Stone’s “W.,” a satirical biography of a fellow by the name of George W. Bush (haven’t heard of him), opens next Friday and is being screened for critics in most markets on Tuesday night. Yet it’s not screening in Portland at all.

One’s first instinct is that Lionsgate is trying to save money by only screening it in the largest markets. But that doesn’t wash: It is screening, for example, in Salt Lake City and Charlotte, N.C., both of which have smaller populations and fewer media outlets than Portland. So if they’re trying to save money by screening it in fewer cities, they’re choosing those cities strangely.

Maybe they’re not screening it in cities where they fear it won’t be received very well? Also illogical, given Portland’s famed liberalism and Salt Lake City’s (and possibly Charlotte’s) conservatism.

Whatever the reason, it’s got Portland’s newspaper film critics agitated. Our heaviest hitter, Shawn Levy, who writes for The Oregonian, told Jeff Wells that his paper won’t review the film at all — not an after-the-fact review, not review from the wire services, nothin’. He said our two weeklies, Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury, have issued the same decree.

Maybe Oliver Stone hates Portland because he knows it’s where I live and he remembers my article making fun of the press junket I attended for his last film, “World Trade Center”? Probably not. Paradoxically, the only person who could ever swallow a conspiracy theory that contrived and unlikely would be Oliver Stone himself.

14 Responses to “Why isn’t ‘W.’ screening in Portland?”

  1. Clumpy Says:

    I don’t care if this movie is full of lies and supposition, because it looks wonderful and hilarious. I want Karl Rove snorting coke off hookers and Colin Powell pushing over desks – anything to take the edge off of eight years of shallow-minded assault on civil liberties and unjustified expansion of government and military.

    Good luck finally seeing this thing, Eric.

  2. Tired Says:

    Is it because they’re trying to sway the conservative crowd right before an election and they’re pretty sure they have Portland tucked away?

  3. mommy Says:

    I can’t imagine a film like this swaying anyone. It may make them mad and motivate them to vote stupidly just to agitate stone…who knows.

  4. Ampersand Says:

    Definitely the last explanation. It’s all about you, Eric.

  5. B Says:

    I’m just looking forward to the reaction Eric’s review will get. Will the right wingers praise him if he gives the movie a C or lower? Will they accuse him of being Un-American if it gets a better review than An American Carol? Will lefties accuse him of being a Bush stooge should he give it a bad review?

  6. Clumpy Says:

    Or will people realize the idea that praising or condemning a movie for political reasons is shallow and crooked?

  7. matt Says:

    Clumpy, I sure love that optimism!

    I’m also sure you’re wrong, but go get ‘em with that enthusiasm!

  8. ClobberGirl Says:

    I just can’t believe we’re getting a movie on George W. Bush when we’ve never gotten a movie on Bill Clinton. Well, okay, I can believe it given Hollywood’s love of all things Democrat, but come on… a President commits perjury during a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the only reason the nation finds out about it is because the other woman never had the dress cleaned? That’s a movie that practically writes itself.

  9. Eric D. Snider Says:

    “I just can’t believe we’re getting a movie on George W. Bush when we’ve never gotten a movie on Bill Clinton.”

    Or George H.W. Bush… or Ronald Reagan… or Jimmy Carter… or Gerald Ford… or Lyndon Johnson… or any president, really, besides Lincoln, Nixon, JFK, and now W.

  10. GP Says:

    “Or George H.W. Bush… ”

    How quickly Naked Gun 2 1/2 is forgotten…

  11. TinaBanina Says:

    I think ClobberGirl’s point is that Clinton is good movie material, not that every president should get a movie.

  12. Clumpy Says:

    “I just can’t believe we’re getting a movie on George W. Bush when we’ve never gotten a movie on Bill Clinton.”

    Doesn’t Wag the Dog sort of qualify?

  13. ClobberGirl Says:

    Correct TinaBanina. There’s certainly some movie potential in the reigns of other Presidents, but the Bill Clinton story seems to me like the most obvious choice for a movie. If it were really about sheer entertainment potential, we’d have seen a Clinton years ago.

  14. Dave the Slave Says:

    ..but ClobberGirl, haven’t you seen the Clinton Chronicles? :-P

    If even a tenth of what the CC shows is true, thats one scary movie….

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