Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
I’ll just say it straight out…I loved this movie. I have serious doubts that the real Charlie Wilson was quite as flamboyant as the character Tom Hanks portrays, but hell, it was the eighties, so maybe. Hanks shone in this flick, and surprisingly (at least to me) so did Julia Roberts. I’m not a huge fan of hers, but she was so convincing to me that I forgot who the actress was, which I thought was awesome. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was fabulous, as always…he’s one of those actors I’ll watch in pretty much anything.
As a student of history and current events, I wondered how truthfully and brutally this movie would handle the Afghanistan of the eighties, as well as the politics surrounding those events. From what I remember as a teenager and young adult (and have read in the intervening years), it’s pretty damned accurate. I also wondered how the filmmakers would deal with the emergence of the Taliban a mere decade later. They did it admirably, showing that Charlie Wilson, for all his boozing, womanizing ways, had a big picture view seldom seen in politics today. This movie made me laugh (which seemed so inappropriate) and even got me misty at the end, when Charlie Wilson’s oh-so-true statement closes the flick. He said, “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fucked up the endgame.” Well said, Congressman Wilson, well said.