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The Special Relationship (4 stars)

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The Special Relationship

(15) 88min
(Optimum)

The third part of writer Peter Morgan’s excellent ‘Blair trilogy’ focuses on the relationship between the former PM and US president Bill Clinton. While Blair will probably be primarily remembered for what many perceive to have been a servile partnership with Bush, his alliance with Clinton in the late 1990s was more successful both politically and personally. Taking in Clinton’s backing of Blair’s candidacy, the PM’s support of the president during the Lewinsky scandal and the leaders’ differing views over NATO’s presence in the former Yugoslavia, The Special Relationship sheds light on Blair’s growing political acumen and his eventual association with Dubya.

Michael Sheen is again superb as Blair, and a great cast joins him: Dennis Quaid as Clinton, Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair and Hope Davis as Hilary Clinton. Director Richard Loncraine does a fine job taking over from Stephen Frears, but, oddly, the follow-up to The Deal and the Oscar-winning The Queen is being premiered on DVD (following a television screening). Extras include cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

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