Bleary eyed I answered the knock at my bedroom door this morning; my roommate Danny asked if I wanted to go see a matinée of Charlie Wilson's War. I did, so I tossed on some real clothes and headed out to the theater.
In short, this movie is excellent. Very well, at times brilliantly, acted, simply and concisely directed and the screenplay is one of the smartest scripts I've seen in a LONG time. Incredibly refreshing after my Hollywood movie outings of the past two weeks, I Am Legend and The Golden Compass, featuring two of the worst screenplays I've seen in a LONG time. Charlie Wilson's War did a good job of cleansing my cinematic palate of the acrid flavor of writing incompetence. I'm not even going to summarize this movie, just go see the damn thing.
As the credit's rolled, I waited in anticipation to see who had directed and written the thing - I really didn't know much about the movie going in except that it had Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts (I was pleasantly surprised to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie as well, nearly stealing the picture except that Hanks is so damn good as well). Mike Nichols name popped up as director; not surprising as he's one of the most underrated directors around I think - a brilliant storyteller in both film AND theater, and that's no easy feat. His production of The Seagull with Meryll Streep in Central Park is still one of the best theatrical experiences I've ever seen - I saw it three times and shot one of my first short films while waiting in line for tickets.
Then came the screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin. Of course. "I should have realized," I thought to myself. The dialogue, the wit, the insight were all trademark Sorkin. For the none of you who have actually read back through my archives on this blog, you'll know that I was a huge fan of Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which was hands down the best and most intelligent show of last season, which died a horrible premature death because it followed Heroes, whose fan base apparently enjoys hearing dialogue so trite and overused the writers of Full House would have cringed, as well as storylines which go absolutely nowhere or get resolved during commercial breaks. So it was really nice to get another taste of the man's writing, especially on the big screen.
The movie was so good, it might even make me read the BOOK. Except that The Wire Season 5 is starting soon...