Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

MIKE NICHOLS

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 , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Academy Awards 2007.  Golden Globe Awards 2007.  Washington Film Critics Awards 2007.  

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.

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