The Special Relationship (2010)
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 2,249
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
May 29, 2010 Wide
Nov 30, 2010
Home Box Office (HBO)
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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.
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
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