The War Room

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Chris Hegedus

REVIEWED: 09-22-97

James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton

With ABC's fall season opening and new episodes of Spin City here, lovers of this Michael J. Fox vehicle should rent the film on which some of the action is based. While this documentary should also be required viewing for anyone in politics, it is still an hour and a half of fun for anyone who wants to reminisce about Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign and the magic that two men, Carville and Stephanopoulos, were able to create. Filmed from the opening volleys of Gennifer Flowers to Clinton's victory dance in Little Rock, The War Room focuses on the intense speed of this team's constant spin control and groundbreaking strategy that essentially changed the pace of campaigns just five years later. But the passage of time also allows for the fading of memory and subtitles that identify some of the lesser players in this political play may need to be provided if this film is to resonate for generations who will only remember Clinton from his stint on MTV. Also, this team comes off as just too squeaky clean with no real dirt to show the ever-present cameras, which either proves that the political system is full of nice guys just trying to do the right thing or that Carville and Stephanopoulos are more self-aware than anyone ever suspected.

--Adrienne Martini

Other Films by Chris Hegedus
Moon Over Broadway

Film Vault Suggested Links
The American Experience: Huey Long
Waco: The Rules of Engagement
Rabbit in the Moon

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