On December 23, I saw Charlie Wilson's War starring Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
With so many big names (Hanks and Hoffman are joined by Amy Adams and Julia Roberts) attached to this film, it was hard not to anticipate its merit before going in, but having been burned in the past by similar assumptions, I reserved judgement.
Thankfully, there was no need for me to.
Hanks dazzles as real-life Texas congressman Charlie Wilson, a booze-loving womanizer with the heart of an everyman who is faced with political demands from a wealthy mover and shaker (played by Roberts), who also occupies his bed. Luckily, he's on the same page with her intentions, to covertly help the Afghans defend themselves against the then-enemy of Russia.
The plot is pretty basic and simple to follow, but what makes this movie so watchable (and will have you wondering how the time went so fast when it ends) is the collection of charisma that ensues: partly a result of good writing; partly a result of the performances.
The main scene stealer is Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays the Greek colleague of Wilson's that has enough justified anger and sarcasm to fill each room he steps into. He is absolutely electric in this role and I wouldn't be sorry to see him score another Oscar® nod because of it.
Also great is Wilson's adorably smart administrative assistant played by Amy Adams. Just the right mix of wholesome and alluring, Adams possesses a unique balance of what most men want: sexy mixed with Betty Crocker. There couldn't have been a better actress for this role.
The clothing and sets are also authentic to the time (early 80s), however I did question whether the phrase 'dial it down' was used back then?
Regardless, this film is solid entertainment that just happens to contain a valuable history lesson: don't fuck up the end game.