Top 5 presidents on film
- Niki Boyle
- 30 May 2012
After his near miss at a Best Actor Oscar for 2003's Lost in Translation (seized on the night by Sean Penn for Mystic River), Bill Murray appears to be taking another run at the wee gold fella with this portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Given America's love for FDR (he usually dukes it out with Lincoln for the top spot in Popular Presidents lists), and given that the film features a splash of royalty in the shape of King George IV (last portrayed by Colin Firth in Oscars bonanza The King's Speech), we reckon he's in with a good chance. Also, he's Bill Murray. We love Bill Murray.
Rod Lurie's The Contender has many highlights (see Joan Allen's strong performance as a principled Vice Presidential nominee, or Gary Oldman's powerhouse turn as Republican sleazebag Shelly Runyon) but our fave is The Dude himself occupying the Oval Office. He charms, he laughs, he acts with all the integrity a president should, and he loves being able to order a good sandwich.
Ok, fine, it's not a movie, but would you have accepted it any other way? Jed Bartlett remains the premier premier in many people's minds, thanks largely to Sheen's sure-footed portrayal, but also to Aaron Sorkin's creation of a man who is incredibly educated, impeccably well-mannered and - on rare occasions - just flawed enough to be human.
Deep Impact is probably best remembered (or not) as the meteor-apocalypse film that didn't quite match up to Armageddon at the box office. But it also put to rights a glaring error in Hollywood movie history - it made Morgan Freeman president. He'd already leant immeasurable dignity and gravitas to roles in Driving Miss Daisy, The Power of One and The Shawshank Redemption, but really, this was the only role befitting a man of such grand stature. Until he went on to play God five years later.
Alright, we'll admit, the grounds aren't so strong for this one - the film's not even out yet, and Daniel Day-Lewis is set to play the Great Emancipator in a Spielberg-directed biopic due out this December - but we just love the idea of Honest Abe kicking four score and seven shades of crap out of the UV-phobic neck-biters. Especially if they sparkle.