Top 10 Films This Presidents’ Day
With Presidents’ Day just around the corner for all my American friends, why not get yourself in the patriotic mood by nuzzling down to a whole range of political features to suit any taste.
- The American President (1995)
Not your typical political film, but for all of you still in that Valentines state of mind, why not settle down with this romantic drama. Directed by Rob Reiner and written by the master himself, Aaron Sorkin (in which this film is claimed to have influenced his creation of The West Wing), the film follows the relationship between President Shepard, played by Michael Dougals, and lobbyist Sydney Wade, depicted by Annette Benning. Expect tears, laughs and a wonderful score!
- Frost/Nixon (2008)
What do you do when you have a majorly successful West End and Broadway show about the infamous Frost/Nixon interviews of 1977? If you’re Ron Howard, you turn it into an Oscar nominated movie of course! This film depicts that notorious moment when President Nixon has his “When the President does it, that means it’s not illegal” moment. Gives you chills right now, doesn’t it? Fun fact – both Sheen and Langella originated the roles on stage!
- Thirteen Days (2000)
Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? Me neither – it was before my time. Either way, this political thriller sees the dramatization of the events from O’Donnell’s, McNamara, JFK and Bobby Kennedy’s perspectives. Jury’s still out on how historically accurate this movie is, mostly because I know very little about it, but either way, it’s a entertaining way to spend a couple hours.
- The Butler (2013)
This historical drama directed by Lee Daniels is based, somewhat loosely, off the life of Eugene Allen. Forest Whitaker stars along side the Goddess that is Oprah along with a ridiculously long list of talented actors. We follow Cecil Gaines who’s an American-American butler serving in the White house of 34 years. In this time we see from Gaines perspectives the political and social changes of the country. It’s a tearjerker this one, so get your Kleenex ready and hit play.
- Lincoln (2012)
This Spielberg epic, providing Daniel Day-Lewis with his third Oscar, tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s final four months while trying to pass the thirteenth amendment. If ever there was a film needed to help you restore some faith in the United States Constitution, this one would be it. So crack open the wine and snuggle into your couches, this one’s a goodie!
- All The President’s Men (1976)
Directed by Alan J Pakula, this political thriller follows two journalists of The Washington Post, investigating the Watergate scandal. Staring both Redford and Hoffman in their younger years, this film was recently selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as its deemed as being culturally, historically and aesthetically significant to the movement of cinema. Just the thing for all you die hard film fans – I mean “die hard” the saying, not the film. That’s belongs on a different list all together.
- W. (2008)
Remember President Bush, the second one, not the first one? Well this biographical drama, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Josh Brolin as the man himself, follows Bush from his earlier life in 1966 all the way through to his “weapons of mass destruction” moment. If you’re wanting to see a more personal side of the 43rd President, then look no further.
- Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2012)For all you looking for something a little darker with a whole load of action this President’s day, why not watch the 16th President slay some gruesome bloodsuckers from hell? Directed by Timur Bekmambetov and based on the 2010 novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, don’t let the name put you off. This film is a guilty pleasure of yours truly and a fun alternative to your standard presidential narrative.
- Jackie (2016)More interested in behind the scenes? Jackie gives you an insight to America’s favourite first lady and how she coped immediately after the assassination of her husband in 1963. Having been nominated for three Oscars, including best actress by Natalie Portman, this biographical drama gives you a sneak peek back in time.
- Air Force One (1997)Because who doesn’t love watching the President fend off Russian Terrorists? This action thriller directed by Wolfgang Peterson, follows a somewhat younger Harrison Ford as a fiction President, fighting to regain control after Air Force One gets hijacked by Russian Terrorists! Expect lots of gun action, stomach churning suspense and questionable Russian accents.
Article written by Alexa Berry for The Monthly Film Festival