Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2015. Participant Media, Smokehouse Pictures. Screenplay by Peter Straughan, suggested by the documentary by Rachel Boynton. Cinematography by Tim Orr. Produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov. Music by David Wingo. Production Design by Richard A. Wright. Costume Design by Jenny Eagan. Film Editing by Colin Patton. Toronto International Film Festival 2015.
Sandra Bullock plays a political consultant who is hired to go to Bolivia and help presidential candidate Joaquim de Almeida get elected, learning once she arrives that her fierce nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton) has been hired by her boss’s rival. Bullock shows up in a bad mood and is immediately beset by altitude sickness, these issues nothing compared to the culture shock that requires adjustment if she is ever going to be effective at her job. There is humour and a few good shouting matches, but there’s very little detail to be gleaned from this incredibly pale version of Primary Colours, with Bullock doing great work with the kind of spitfire personality we love to see her doing. She is completely let down by an uneventful script, one that assumes the premise is interesting enough to get away with having very little nuance in its actual playing out. A strangely beige movie that never finds its centre, one that hints at the difficult compromises of the world it portrays without actually displaying any.