Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2007. Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Participant Media, Playtone, MP Munich Pape Filmproductions, Good Time Charlie Productions. Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, based on the book by George Crile. Cinematography by Stephen Goldblatt. Produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Victor Kempster. Costume Design by Albert Wolsky. Film Editing by John Bloom, Antonia van Drimmelen.
A minor Texas congressman (Tom Hanks) finds himself inspired by a gutsy society dame (Julia Roberts) to get involved in post-Soviet invaded Afghanistan and help the country defend itself against their common enemy. Teaming up with a CIA operative (Philip Seymour Hoffman) with a knack for speaking his mind, Hanks manages to escalate a tiny arms budget into a near-billion dollar conflict that contributes to the end of the Cold War and makes him a legend. This film should not have been anything but great with a strong cast (except Roberts, who feels out of place), a script by Aaron Sorkin and direction by the great Mike Nichols, but it fails to fly. Lots of great dialogue, and a steady pace, but for some reason the overall effect fails to really snap the way Barry Levinson’s Wag The Dog or Nichols’ own Primary Colours did.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Tom Hanks); Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman); Best Supporting Actress (Julia Roberts); Best Screenplay