‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ Review: What Worked, What Didn’t

“If you don’t like the road you’re on, start paving a new one,” is what Sandra Bullock says at the end of “Our Brand Is Crisis” as her character Jane ‘Calamity’ Bodine.

The David Gordon Green film depicts the story of a Bolivian presidential candidate who enlists the help of a savvy Bodine, a well versed woman in political campaigns who helps him change his reputation and get him re-elected. Things get down and dirty when Bodine finds out that her nemesis Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) is working for the opposition. This is when winning is all that matters.

The lead role was originally created for George Clooney who also is producer of the film, but after reading the script Bullock knew this part was made for her. And boy did she own that role!

While I wouldn’t give it a full 10, I would give it a 7.5/8. The topic was a little stretched out, it was based on the real events of the 2002 Bolivian presidential elections and 2005 documentary film by Rachel Boynton on American political campaign marketing tactics by Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS). The ex-President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada won the race instead of Evo Morales and consequently saw the destruction of the country. I’m not sure if it captured American audiences attention enough to want to go to the theaters.

I would recommend people watched it because Sandra is a true acting genius who knows when to put her foot down and get shit done while at the same time bring out that quirky humor we love from her. The cast is great, newcomers and veterans work together to show who’s in power, who needs to be listened to and who never to trust.

The beginning was a little off-beat. When she got to Bolivia and was sick for what seemed like 20 minutes of the film I wondered if this scene was changed for her. It was a compelling story that ultimately made me laugh and look at political campaigns in a different way. Reynado Pacheco, the Bolivian actor who played the part of Eddie, a volunteer for presidential candidate Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida) was exceptional and became the star of the film as it progressed.

Go watch it, if not, just rent it when it comes out. Let me know if you will!

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