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BULWORTH

SYNOPSIS:
In the midst of a nervous breakdown in the days leading up to the primary election campaign of 1996, Senator Jay Bulworth (Warren Beatty) hires a hit man, Vinnie (Richard Sarafian), to assassinate him during the final campaign weekend – after making a deal with a corrupt lobbyist Crockett (Paul Sorvino) for $10 million life insurance to benefit his daughter. But Bulworth’s newly found freedom to speak honestly - and a meeting with Nina (Halle Berry), a beautiful, intelligent African-American woman raised by 60s activists, give him new enthusiasm to live. How then, can he stop the ‘hit’ he has put on himself…

Review by Louise Keller:
Warren Beatty makes interesting films. No question. And Bulworth is perhaps his most complete. Biting, satirical, funny and entertaining, Bulworth is a thought provoking essay on the hypocrisies and inadequacies of the political system. Beatty has injected passion and depth into his project, canvassing such issues as fidelity, racism, media manipulation, bribery and insincerity. Beatty is magnificent as Bulworth, displaying his stature as a passionate filmmaker and actor. There are no soft lenses here, Beatty looks his age, yet still projects the persona of a handsome man. Halle Berry bridges the gap into another world – the world of the less fortunate, black Americans who are forced onto the streets from an early age, selling dope in order to survive. Berry is engaging on screen, with a mystique which sustains throughout. The yin yan quality that Berry and Beatty proffer together works well, and while there is much that is beyond belief, we are hooked enough to bite. The contrast between the less fortunate and the well dressed Beverly Hills set couldn’t be greater. Christine Baranski is effective as the cold wife doing her bit to promote family values, while Oliver Platt plays his caricature character to perfection. There’s much to entertain, amuse and horrify in Bulworth. Can a politician sleep at night? Or indeed can he sleep at all, if he is a puppet delivering speeches written with the abject purpose to gain political advantage? The use of rap music is both effective and arresting, as is the way Beatty changes persona as he does clothes: from conservative suit to homie with beanie, shades and shorts. Bulworth is not shy to make digs at the system – no bull there. For the thinking man, its satire and political punch is dynamite.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

BULWORTH (MA)
(US)

CAST: Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt,Don Cheadle, Paul Sorvino, Jack Warden,Christine Baranski, Joshua Malina, Richard Sarafian, Isaiah Washington, Amiri Baraka, Sean Astin,Laurie Metcalf, Wendell Pierce, Michele Morgan, Ariyan Johnson

DIRECTOR: Warren Beatty

PRODUCER: Warren Beatty, Pieter Jan Brugge

SCRIPT: Warren Beatty, Jeremy Pikser (story by Warren Beatty)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Vittorio Storaro

EDITOR: Robert C. Jones, Billy Weber

MUSIC: Ennio Morricone

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dean Tavoularis

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 25, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: July 21, 1999 (Rental); April 3, 2002 (Sell-Thru)

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment







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