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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Arguably the whole point of the film - was President George W. Bush a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who was Too Dumb to Live, a misguided but well intentioned "Well Done, Son!" Guy who just wanted to atone for his past mistakes and do right by his family's legacy, or just an average guy who was in way over his head and couldn't quite comprehend what he'd gotten himself into? Or some combination of these, or something else altogether?
  • Award Snub: Josh Brolin recieved little to no awards attention for his performance as Bush.
    • There's also those who felt that Richard Dreyfuss' performance as Dick Cheney was more worthy of a film than Bush himself.
  • Genius Bonus: In the press conference scene, Bush's answer to the reporter's question about his place in history ("History? In history, we'll all be dead.") is a slight paraphrase of John Maynard Keynes' quote about long-run economic stabilization: "In the long run, we are all dead." note  As a graduate of Harvard Business School, Bush would have to be intimately familiar with Keynesian economics, so the remark is quite in-character for him.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Josh Brolin plays George W Bush, who had a drinking problem throughout part of his adult life. On New Year's Eve 2013 Brolin was arrested for a public intoxication.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    "It's too soon. You need some historical perspective. We had to wait 20 years to do Nixon. As a dramatist, you have to wait. Right now Bush is in full play. It's not time for a biography."
    • Josh Brolin's father James Brolin, a passionate Democrat, was controversially cast as Ronald Reagan in a 2003 miniseries, and as a Republican Presidential nominee in Season 4 of The West Wing who was probably based on George W. Bush.
    • Ari Fleischer, the White House Press Secretary, is played by Rob Corddry, of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart fame.
    • Another example that crosses over with Harsher in Hindsight: The suggestion that Jeb was the true heir to the Bush dynasty, a dynasty that was destroyed by George, easily falls into both these categories after Jeb's disastrous 2016 Presidential Campaign. And what was Jeb's last ditch effort to save himself in South Carolina? Getting George to campaign for him. The scene in which another Congressional candidate berates George and won't let him get a word in is likewise hilarious when you consider why most people feel Jeb failed.
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    • Christian Bale was the first choice to play W. Bush but ultimately dropped out. 10 years later, he would play Bush's Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice.
  • Squick: The scene where George W. Bush is casually having a conversation with Laura, while also being shown sitting on the toilet and pulling the toilet paper. It might be intended to show how they don't have anything to hide from each other, but still...
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: It's perhaps as much a failure of the make-up and hairstyling as much as anything else, but Ioan Gruffudd in this movie looks absolutely nothing like the real-life Tony Blair. Reportedly, the appearance of Blair in the film's trailer was met with derisive laugher in many UK cinemas.


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