Primary Colors

Year: 1998
Production Co: Icarus productions
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Mike Nicholls
Producer: Mike Nicholls
Writer: Elaine May
Cast: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Adrian Lester, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman, Rob Reiner
The story of the rise of a President who's Clinton in all but the name, and a pretty razor sharp one at that. Travolta - great when he has the right script behind him (which he often doesn't, as movies from Ladder 49 to Wild Hogs tell us), is the wily southern governor very slick at appearing the down-home corn and grits guy thanks to a kooky but scarily skilled band of political minders and imagemakers that surround him.

The hero (Lester) - playing the ignorant audience as we learn of the foibles of a Presidential campaign - has to navigate everything from clever feints from opponents to the hopeful governor's infidelities and his long-suffering wife's (Thompson) handling of them.

When it over, it's been idealistic but sleazy, built on promise but underhanded and secretive, and what a ride - the result is a less biting, more multiplex-friendly satire than the brilliant Bob Roberts, but the characterisations and the script help pull it off.

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