Bulworth
R
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3

It's re-election time for California Senator Jay Billington Bulworth (Warren Beatty) in this political satire. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Bulworth hasn't eaten or slept for several days. Just before the final campaign push, he accepts a large life insurance policy benefiting his daughter from a corrupt lobbyist then hires an assassin with himself as target. Not expecting to survive the weekend, Bulworth feel free to speak honestly about campaign contributions, political agendas, and race relations. Murphy (Oliver Platt), his campaign manager, nearly has his own breakdown with this new strategy of truth telling. At a campaign stop, Bulworth meets Nina (Halle Berry), a young black woman with surprising political savvy and her own agenda. As the sleep deprived Senator get involved with his black constituents, he starts rapping at fund raisers and interviews. But when he tries to call off the assassination, the middle man has a heart attack and can't get the word out.

Written and directed by Beatty, there's both humor and truth in Bulworth's comments. Unfortunately the comments are wrapped around frequent obscenities. Although the language allows Bulworth to contrast what we call obscene and the "acceptable" obscene actions, like war, that involve politicians. However, the obscenities are multiplied by the lyrics of the rap music soundtrack. In a black club, Bulworth is offered and smokes marijuana and later Murphy is shown taking cocaine. In his campaign, Bulworth extols family values, but his wife is having an affair with his opponent. Bulworth appears to condone it for the sake of public image, even asking his wife how his opponent's doing. Sex is implied as she is shown in bed with him on election night. Brief rear nudity appears in a TV ad and a wall painting features a nude female. Two church services, one black Gospel and one white Presbyterian, are contrasted humorously but no disrespect of religion is shown. In one scene, a white cop harasses a group of black boys, shoving ice cream in one boy's face. Bulworth intervenes and does the same to the cop, also shoving him over a car hood. Frequent foul language, drug use, condoned adultery and abuse of authority makes this BULWORTH less.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Summary
Crude Language: Many (27) times - mild 9, moderate 18
Obscene Language: Many (108) times - f-word 68, s-word 20, other 20
Profanity: Many (14) times - regular (GD 7, JC 2, G 1, Csake 1, Gsake 2, Swear to G 1)
Violence: Few times - moderate - shoving, gun threat, man pushes ice cream in boy's face, man pushes ice cream in other man's face, man shot
Sexual Intercourse: Implied once (adulterous couple in bed)
Nudity: Brief female rear nudity (thong swimsuit on TV), painting of nude woman on wall
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times - slang references to sex, sensual kiss
Drug Abuse: Several times - alcohol drinking, cigars smoked, marijuana and cocaine use, reference to drug sells
Other: Ethnic slang(n-word, Jew), obscene rap lyrics in soundtrack, two church services contrast worship styles but treated neutrally, white cops harass black kids, boy carries gun, Wife's adultery with political opponent condoned for public image, comments on obscene language versus obscene political acts.
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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