I went with my next-door neighbor to see W. this afternoon. I have read several reviews over the last couple of days and most of them said the exact same thing: the movie is "surprisingly even-handed." I have to agree, especially coming from a director like Oliver Stone. I was expecting it to be a lot more left-leaning (which wouldn't have bothered me at all, personally) than it actually was.
Bush in the movie is portrayed as having serious daddy issues. While not based in any verifiable fact, I think there's probably a lot of truth to this, especially considering who his father is. I can easily see him pursuing a political career in order to gain approval from his father. It's an interesting take on how and why his entire presidency came about.
Josh Brolin is great...his voice is spot on. Richard Dreyfuss does probably the best impersonation of Dick Cheney I have ever seen! It's amazing...he lurks in corners and everything! Thandie Newton completely transforms into Condi Rice. She's very...stiff, which sounds like a bad thing, but that's how Rice acts all the time so it's really perfect.
Elizabeth Banks is Laura Bush. And Banks plays her as very sympathetic, which I think is probably accurate. I've never had anything against Laura Bush, she's always seemed like a genuinely nice person, and very smart. Sorry your husband's...um, not so smart.
James Cromwell is George H.W. Bush. I don't think I can accurately describe how really great he is as the former President. The father-son relationship is critical to the whole premise of the movie.
Finally, I have to give some major praise to Jeffrey Wright, who played Colin Powell. You can just see the inner turmoil...he wants to do what's right, hopefully find a diplomatic solution instead of going to war, but he's trying to serve the President faithfully at the same time. A really, really good performance all around by Wright. (By the way, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama today! YEAH!)