Photo Credit: Maxim
Sandra Bullock has joined the Oscar race with a fantastic performance in Our Brand is Crisis, a film that’s all about star power.
Based on the 2005 documentary of the same name, this somewhat oddball political “dramedy” that opened in theaters nationwide on Friday, October 30, is a fictional account about a retired American campaign strategist, Jane “Calamity” Bodine (Sandra). Calamity is hired by a rather unpopular Bolivian presidential candidate to help reinvigorate his campaign so he can when the upcoming election.
The model for Sandra’s memorable character is actually Bill Clinton’s well-known election operative, James Carville, who was hired to be an adviser on what turned out to be a successful campaign to regain office by an unpopular former Bolivian president.
At the film’s premiere in Los Angeles last Monday night, Sandra said, “Politics have always been a comedy/tragedy.
“I think now the curtain has just been pulled back and everyone gets to see it. It has always been the same. You can’t write stories like this based on pure fiction. This is based on absolute reality.”
The film’s message, she added,” does use politics as a backdrop, but it’s “more about consequences, big business, how far is too far.”
While you might expect a man to take on a character that models Carville, Sandra told People magazine that when she read the script by Peter Straughan, although the protagonist was a man, she felt it was a human role, and not necessarily gender specific.
“It wasn’t so much that I said it should be a woman, it’s that when I read it, I knew the voice and I knew how to play it,” she explained. “It was a human role, and it was one that I was very familiar with because I know some people that are like that, in that struggle – that are complex and irritating and aggressive and just powerful yet incredibly broken.”
Bullock revealed to the audience at a screening of the film at the Toronto Fest in September that she’d asked producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov to consider changing the protagonist to a woman.
“George could have played the role, but maybe I could have played it better,” she said.
George himself noted that the shift in the script was surprisingly easy, and “it made us realize that there could be a lot more (male-written) roles out there” that could/should be re-scripted for women.
While the Bolivian setting makes for a unique locale in a campaign run most by Americans, the highlight is truly Sandra’s outstanding performance that seals her fate as a hot contender in the best actress Oscar race.