It might grow on me with time, and I shudder whenever the Clintons are the subject of portrayals, but in a nutshell I think this movie was more a Blair movie than a Clinton movie. I may change my mind after watching it again, but in the end I thought the Blairs were more colorfully written, more filled-out characters than the Clintons. I find it hard to believe that Hillary was written rather blandly since no matter what your attitude might be about her, bland is not an adjective you would choose to describe her.
Perhaps this focus on the Blairs is to be expected since the writer, Peter Morgan, has written about them before, and used the same actors, Michael Sheen and Helen McCrory, but the facts of the lives somehow do not calculate that Cherie Blair comes off a more interesting character than our former First Lady who went on to serve in the Senate and is now the most entertaining Secretary of State ever- packing public appearances into her travels, flirting her way around the world in pantsuits of every color.
I have every sympathy for Hope Davis who did her best with a character that was written rather low-key. Perhaps the most dramatic of her scenes was cut. She was glad that it was, and so am I since I have no desire to see a portrayal that is imagined, fictional, on the topic of one of the most hurtful experiences in Hillary Clinton’s life. It is not Davis’s fault that Morgan completely missed one of the most endearing qualities about Hillary Clinton, her sense of humor. None of that is in there. He keeps her deadly serious, maybe a little sarcastic and sharp, must mostly a victim painted narrowly and in beige. Hillary has a lot more steel in her than what Morgan put in this script, and a lot more fun. The way she enjoys being SOS I find it hard to believe that she would not be out for fun visiting London.
As for the former POTUS, I found that character rather humorless and rough around the edges. I thought Dennis Quaid was miscast. It is interesting to me that he decided to take the part because of the writing, according to Lynn Elber’s article. Perhaps the most wrongheaded turn one can take is to try to write about true events between real people when you were not in the room, or worse, when you do not really know the people. Morgan may be familiar with the Blairs, but I think he missed on the Clintons.