Stephen Harper, Meet Sandra Bullock
Known as an “evil genius” and “a Rottweiler,” the political campaign fixer who seemingly can get anyone elected is flown in from another continent weeks before the national election to help an unpopular candidate who has run the country before and wants to do it again but who is looking like a loser with the socialist candidate leading the polls.
No, we’re not talking about the Canadian election or Harper or his notorious new consultant from Australia, Lynton Crosby who pulled off David Cameron’s surprising majority in England, among other unpredictable big wins..
We’re talking about the new Sandra Bullock flick that had its world premiere at TIFF last weekend.
Bullock plays the Crosby role in the fictionalized 2002 election in Bolivia — a performance that puts her in the running for another Oscar.
The part was originally written for George Clooney but he ended up co-producing the film after his Gravity co-star expressed interest in the role and the screenwriter revised it for her.
Our Brand Is Crisis starring Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton as a rival consultant, is a fictionalized version of the 2005 documentary about the real 2002 election in Bolivia.
American fixer James Carville and his team were flown to La Paz to use their black magic on behalf of former president Sánchez de Lozada, who was lagging in the polls. They managed to get him elected as head of a coalition government but a year later, he had to flee to exile in the U.S. over decisions that led to riots and the killing of dozens of civilians.
What’s fascinating about the film for the Canadian voter is watching how a foreign fixer manipulates the candidate, the campaign and the electorate, with a combination of clever moves and dirty tricks.
Can we expect a similar scenario here?
It’s not for nothing that Crosby’s reputation hovers between being called “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Lizard of Oz.”
Unfortunately, the release of the film is timed not to the Canadian election but to the run-up to the U.S. primary season, kicking off in January, “Our Brand is Crisis” opens Oct. 30. By that time, we’ll know if the Wizard/Lizard can do for Harper what Bullock’s character did for the Bolivian.
And by the way, the movie is a hugely entertaining dra-medy.
And so, of course, is the Canadian election 2105.