The Special Relationship (2010)
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Screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) explores the complex relationship that developed between former American President Bill Clinton and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair as the two progressive statesmen strived to unite their countries toward a common goal. The growing bond between President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair is later solidified by the fact that their wives, Hillary Clinton and Cherie Blair, seem to have just as much in common as their powerful husbands. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Special Relationship
The Special Relationship does indeed focus on a friendship between two (admittedly powerful) dudes, but this is more than a mere episode of Entourage. For one thing, stuff happens.
[The] glimpse of the real Blair was far more interesting than the clichéd version we saw throughout the film.
The third act in the chronicles of Tony Blair features Michael Sheen and scribe Peter Morgan in fine form, but a shaky turn by Dennis Quaid mars The Special Relationship from reaching its full potential.
A dramatically flat exploration of the friendship between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President Bill Clinton, as they navigate the personal and national challenges of high office.
The most unintentionally homoerotic film of the year. Eventually you start willing them to make out. Solid script. Slightly unconvincing Clinton performance from Quaid.
As before, Michael Sheen is able to project a kind of toothy sincerity reminiscent of Tony Blair in the early stages of his political incumbency. There's a sweetness there, and at times, almost a naivity.
The relationship between Blair and Clinton never seems capable, dramatically speaking, of bearing the weight the film assigns to it.
The film is immensely entertaining, whether fair or not. Sheen is brilliant, as we have come to expect, but Quaid's Clinton is perhaps the greater surprise because he gets well beyond the charm.
The Special Relationship marks a worthy addition to Morgan's ever-expanding body of work as a modern historian of the big screen.
Still, for all its flaws there's a compelling energy in The Special Relationship.
Lovers of political drama will be transfixed as these two immensely ambitious and powerful men make decisions that will change the world.
The Special Relationship almost functions as a strange sort of bromance between two men who heralded the arrival of a new approach to progressive centre-left politics.
The Special Relationship doesn't have the emotional impact of The Queen but it's a sharp examination of a brief time when the UK occupied a dynamic place on the world stage.
Sheen, quite frankly, looks bored out of his mind here and Loncraine's direction is flat and technically unadventurous. "Special" is definitely the wrong word to use to describe this relationship.
Fine performances anchor this entertaining film which provides real insight into the dynamics of power and politics.
It is an insightful portrait of the relationship between Blair and US President Bill Clinton that casts them as men of both action and accident, driven by ideals and petty personal proclivities.
Peter Morgan manages to infiltrate the wall of privacy that shrouds some aspects of these men's private conversations with a good ear for the hypothetical
We are in the hot seat, in the inner circle as we get a sense of 'the special relationship' between two 'liberal' leaders Tony Blair (Martin Sheen) and Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid), who are (in Clinton's words) 'holding the joystick at the same time'
Audience Reviews for The Special Relationship
Michael Sheen steals the show, and turns in another excellent performance. The movie itself was a little under whelming for me...decent, but nothing overly exciting.More
If you wander about the name of the movie, it comes from a phrase used to describe the close political, diplomatic, cultural and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill. The first drafts of the film dealt with Blair's special relationships with U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. However, screenwriter Peter Morgan excluded the Bush scenes from subsequent drafts (thus ending the narrative on January 20, 2001) because he found the Blair/Clinton dynamic more interesting. Morgan intended to make his directorial debut with the film but backed out a month before filming began and was replaced by Richard Loncraine. It is well executed movie with a real PR success... it managed to present two real war criminals as some kind of "liberators" with high moral standards...More
Could have been better I think but interesting. Wasn't as into Quaid's Clinton as I was the other main three actors - great performaces from them.More
Michael Sheen reprises his role as Tony Blair from The Queen. This time we have more insight to Blair as presented through his relationship will US President Bill Clinton. Dennis Quaid is believable as Clinton, but Hope Davis shines as Hillary. Doesn't shy away from controversy and paints an even picture of Blair as an idealist, but ultimately a politician through and through.More
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