Our Brand is Crisis
Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Peter Straughan
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquin de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan
The release of “Our Brand is Crisis” at this point in the election cycle is a fitting one. The film is a satire of the running of political campaigns. As most know, a political campaign is akin to an advertising campaign. “Our Brand is Crisis” makes the assertion that political campaigns are not just similar to advertising ones they are advertising campaigns. Every aspect of the candidate is something carefully constructed and choreographed to make him the most appealing choice to the voters. It was not surprising that the image of the candidate during the campaign is heavily manufactured. The extent of this manufactured image, however, was shocking. Everything from how the candidate acts, to the message he delivers is completely orchestrated.
Bullock and Thornton give captivating performances that are the highlight of the movie. The game of one-upmanship that they play with each other is interesting and drives the film. A strong supporting cast surrounded Bullock and Thornton, and the chemistry between Bullock and her team was great. While the Bullock and Thornton were fantastic, the movie suffers from a drastic tone shift at the end of the film. “Crisis” shifts from a political satire to a serious political movie instantly. When the change occurred, I was confused by the motivations behind it. The shift is underdeveloped and happens too quickly.
“Our Brand is Crisis” is a fascinating look at the inner workings of a political campaign and its implications for the voters, but the sudden tone shift derails this train.