Ouch! WaPo Critic Says 'Museum Animatronics' Do Better Clinton Imitations Than Dennis Quaid on HBO

Washington Post writer Hank Stuever has strong opinions about the new HBO movie on Bill Clinton and Tony Blair in Friday's paper: "Dennis Quaid is truly awful in the role of President Bill Clinton, the other half of The Special Relationship's special relationship. It's so bad that I insist everyone inside the Beltway watch it at least twice."

It must be hard to play Bill Clinton when everyone is so familiar with him, and so many media liberals still consider him a hero, despite the well, itty-bitty flaws. But Stuever really, really hates Quaid's work:

There are museum animatronics doing better presidential imitations than Quaid. If I had been in director Richard Loncraine's shoes, a couple of days into filming, I would have gone on eBay and purchased one of those cardboard, life-size Bill Clinton cutouts and had Quaid carry that around in front of him while the cameras continued to roll and I frantically waited for "Saturday Night Live's" Darrell Hammond to return my phone calls.

Stuever's review suggests HBO did not cut the scene of Bill telling Hillary he had carnal knowledge of an intern (or maybe the reviewer's copy still had it, but regular viewers won't see it):

Fortunately, in the same breath, there is some good news: Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton. Wearing a set of buckteeth and displaying a masterful command of that quintessential Hillary people repellent, Davis shows a capability that surpasses Quaid's surprising ineptitude. This creates an eerie parallel to what the world has longed perceived as the prime dynamic in the Clintons' marriage, as the two must act out one of the decade's grisliest moments in public/private shame: the night Bill confesses to Hillary that he did, in fact, have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

The rage with which Davis glowers at Quaid! Is it acting, or is she really peeved at Quaid, thinking to herself, Here I am nailing the part of Hillary and you're over there doing what -- Foghorn Leghorn?

[Italics his.]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis