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Our Brand is Crisis (2015) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 14 August 2015


Jay´s Review

"If voting changed anything, they would make it illegal." So says a top-ranking political consultant who is sent to a war-torn country in South America to fine-tune a faltering election. Director David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") is working from an R-rated script (smoking and language) by Peter Straughan ("The Debt") which in turn is based on Rachel Boynton's documentary by the same name.

Problem is, our heroine's long-term nemesis shows up with a conflicting goal. Trouble ensues.... As a political junkie, I got a huge kick out of all their dirty tricks. They are unexpected and original. Everything from making a catapult from the elastic on a fitted bed sheet, to a misleading quote supposedly from Goethe (you have to see it).

We watch:

  • * Sandra Bullock ("The Heat") is Jane; coaxed out of a self-imposed "retirement." After an insulting incident launches her into action, she develops a clever strategy and a clear objective, but she also has a bit of common sense that penetrates her clinical depression.
  • * Ann Dowd ("Masters of Sex") Nell is the recruiter who convinces Jane to once again, enter the fray. Nell has connections....
  • * Billy Bob Thornton ("The Judge") Pat Candy has a history with Jane and doesn't hesitate to use it. This actor plays loathsomeperfectly.
  • * Anthony Mackie ("Avengers") Ben is Jane's right-hand man, but sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing... Jane's strategies are out of left field and break all the rules.
  • * Zoe Kazan ("Olive Kitteridge") LeBlanc is the ultimate researcher. She's also multi lingual...what a treasure!
  • * Reynaldo Pacheco ("Right Mind") Eddie is an early volunteer because his deceased father had been a supporter of Castillo in earlier campaigns.
  • * Joaquim de Almeida ("A Date With Miss Fortune") Castillo is the client, trying to make a comeback but waaaay behind in the polls. He totally lacks charisma but is a politician through and through.

It was interesting to see the favelas (slum-like homes, not just in Brazil) clinging to the hillside and to watch the merchants setting up shop. I loved the road race between the two campaign buses and appreciated Jane's way of "changing the narrative instead of the candidate."

We learned a lot, some of which we would rather not know...

One little quibble: I can appreciate that Bullock is fifty years old, but it strained credibility to see her in full makeup from morning to night. Even when rising early in the morning, it's intact. C'mon, Sandra...

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