Slate's prevailing impression is that the screenplay is heavy on Bushisms ("Is our children learning?") and common perceptions that have become clichés (Bush as alcoholic fratboy). Indeed, some of the lines they quote sound like something that I, having done no research and possessing virtually no insight into the man, might come up with if asked out of the blue to write a movie about Bush's life. (On the decision to invade Iraq, for example: "I think it's time we stopped standing around with our dicks in our hands, and raised the stakes on ol' 'Husseny.'")
This is distressing news to those of us who hoped that W might have the empathy and even-handedness of Stone's Nixon. Most people -- whether or not they accept it -- have already absorbed the meme that Bush is an arrogant, reckless, hard-drinking buffoon, and I'm not sure that this perception merits its own movie. If, as Slate (perhaps quoting selectively) suggests, that's all they got, then I'm not terribly interested. Do we really need to see the pretzel-choking incident reenacted by Josh Brolin?