Sandra Bullock doesn’t give a damn until she creates a Crisis

(From IMDb)


When Jane Bodine answers the door to the political operatives who want to win her sly services at the start of Our Brand Is Crisis, the campaign specialist is checked out, home alone “between two mountains” as she carefully explains to them.

And even though she agrees to join the crew back in Bolivia, the thin air disagrees with Bodine causing her to upchuck much and remain in a state of lethargy.

For a good chunk of time, big star Sandra Bullock doesn’t look like she’s going to do much but mope in this political farce/satire/documentary/fairy tale directed by David Gordon Green, written by Peter Straughan, executive produced by her Gravity co-star George Clooney and somewhat based on a real election there in the mid-2000s.

Then a middle-aged guy breaks out of a crowd after a debate and breaks an egg over her candidate’s head, and former head of state Pedro Castillo, ably played by craggy-faced Joaquim de Almeida, responds by socking the guy in the face.

Suddenly Calamity Jane springs into life with her main idea — the title of the film, naturally — and the rest of the main campaign staff, pleasingly portrayed by Anthony Mackie, Ann Dowd, Scott McNairy and Zoe Kazan, respond in various degrees of enthusiasm, tepid agreement, annoyance or anger.

But Castillo starts gaining points when he listens to Jane, and the gang starts rounding into shape, too.

Her foil is the campaign guru for the main foe. Pat Candy, played by a shaved-bald Billy Bob Thornton, has beaten Jane in a string of their last dust-ups, and talk is that the dirty play between them sent her to the hills of solitude. His wink-wink behavior to her borders on leering and solicitude. Her frost and determination to beat his brains in is palpable.

From there the movie turns into a damning display of how shady these folks can get to sway votes their candidates’ way. Yes, Sandra Bullock will take a role these days where you betcha she knows right off that a good portion of the viewing public won’t much like some of the actions of her character.

The politics of the candidates and the nation they’re in actually play second fiddle to the interplay between Candy and Calamity Jane, although Reynaldo Pacheco struggles valiantly to make the most of his role as Eddie, a young volunteer from the poor part of town who stands by Castillo because of a photo that hangs on the cracked walls of the apartment he shares with his brothers of he as a child being held aloft by the man when he ran the country.

At the end, there are winners and losers and a big gray area in between. So this so-so total package that could have been so much more might have been about politics after all.

What’s your favorite political movie, and why? What’s your favorite Sandra Bullock movie, and why? What’s your favorite Billy Bob Thornton movie, and why?

33 thoughts on “Sandra Bullock doesn’t give a damn until she creates a Crisis

  1. The Sandra Bullock movie Lorraine was referring to is Forces Of Nature with co-star Ben Affleck. I too love Sandra Bullock so it’s difficult to name a favorite but it would have to be Practical Magic or Hope Floats, although I haven’t seen a film with her that I haven’t liked.


  2. I really want to see this movie 🙂
    I love Billy Bob in Primary Colors — I loooove that movie! I also really like him in Pushing Tin. Maybe I just really like him.
    Is there anything Sandra Bullock can’t make even better? She’s fantastic!


  3. Sounds like I’m probably going to skip this one in the theaters. Sandra Bullock isn’t exactly the type to draw me in no matter what, unlike Christian Bale, for instance 😉

    My favorite political movie? Primary Colors. An oldie but a goodie.

    Favorite all time political thing ever: THE WEST WING!


    • Hi, Cheney! I understand your wish to see more Bale and less Bullock. 🙂 I like ‘Primary Colors,’ but unfortunately read it before I saw it. 😦 I have to visit you soon. I must catch up on your girl Elyse. ❤ I've fallen so far behind in my blog reading. Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t seen many ads for this one. Much like in real life, I’m not that into politics, even though I know I should be. With a so so rating from you on this one, I’ll probably just let is slide by. I haven’t seen Billy Bob in anything for a while…kind of a comeback for him…or am I missing something?


  5. I have no favorite political movie other than that Robin Williams movie I don’t even remember much about it. My favorite BB Thornton movie was SLING BLADE. I enjoy a quirky character and the movie was full of them. I felt bad for BB’s character. It was the first time I was introduced to that kid who I just KNEW would grow up to be a great actor, and he has!
    As for Sandra Bullock.. I have too many favorites, I only have ONE I didn’t like it involved a thievery. Her character was involved with a law breaking thief! Anyway I just didn’t like it.


    • Let’s see, Lorraine. ‘Good Morning Vietnam,’ perhaps. He was very Robinesque in that one! And with Sandra, maybe you’re talking about ‘The Net,’ with identity theft of ‘Crash,’ an ensemble piece where she was an upper-class woman who got robbed. But, yeah, young Billy Bob came to be true after ‘Sling Blade,’ yes, indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay that was a great movie GOOD MORNING VIETNAM but I was talking about Robin playing a political candidate. Gee it was so long ago.
        No I thought Sandra was the girlfriend of a thief. I need to research her movie list I guess.


  6. i’m looking forward to this one – my fave was ‘bob roberts.’ i love sandra and billy bob, both and my fave bb film was ‘slingblade’ which i only saw a couple of years ago. he was amazing –


  7. All the President’s Men is my favorite political movie due to crisp writing with great actors. It was the best, Mark! “The American President” with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening comes in second due to politics and love story.
    I may see this one on a red box unless someone talks me into it:) Hope you have a great week. I am up at Mom’s till the 8th. She had a great b’day, #87, yesterday 🙂


    • Happy Birthday to your awesome Mom, Robin. Please tell her I wish her the very best, my friend. 🙂 Have a great week up there appreciating her company.

      Hey, those two movies were both pretty great, the first for politics and the second for relationships, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

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