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Our Brand Is Crisis is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Peter Straughan, based on the 2005 documentary film of the same name by Rachel Boynton. The film gives a fictionalized account of the involvement of American political campaign strategists Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. The film stars Sandra Bullock, Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Ann Dowd and Joaquim de Almeida.
Principal photography began on September 29, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. George Clooney and Grant Heslov produced. The film was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It was theatrically released by Warner Bros. on October 30, 2015. It received mixed reviews, despite Bullock s performance being largely praised, and was a box office disappointment.
In 2002, Bolivian politician Pedro Castillo hires an American political consulting firm (based on James Carville s Greenberg Carville Shrum firm) to help him win the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. The firm brings in Calamity Jane Bodine to manage Castillo s fledging campaign. The opposition s top political consultant is her nemesis, fellow American Pat Candy. In Bolivia, the situation is tense: Bodine learns that the indigenous people, who are a majority in the country but lack any real political power, are protesting for constitutional reform to get proper representation.
The American consultants, not knowing the language or the culture of Bolivia, are persuaded by Bodine, a burned out veteran of American politics, to follow a strategy of smear campaigning to make up for their candidate s shortcomings. However, Castillo refuses to give permission for the team to do so. It is only after Bodine arranges for the distribution of a flyer accusing Castillo of a long-ago affair (and blaming it on the opposition) does she finally get him to agree to smear his opponents.
In the following months, the team exercises a strategy of declaring a crisis . They plan to frighten the people, with the aim of persuading them to vote for the unsympathetic but known Castillo rather than the younger opposition candidates. They even resort to publishing photos of their enemy with Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie in the background, so that he has to deny being a Nazi. Castillo s bus is stopped by a group of protesters who don t want the International Monetary Fund in Bolivia. Castillo promises them that he will not invite the IMF without a public referendum. Eduardo, a young volunteer of the Castillo campaign, is deeply impressed by this show of commitment. His loyalty comes mostly from the fact that Castillo, who was president at the time, took a young Eduardo on his arm during a rally in his town. Nevertheless, his brothers are much more skeptical about Castillo.
During the final debate, Bodine cites a quote in a conversation with Candy (knowing that he ll give it to rival candidate Rivera for his speech) saying that a great man said it. Unfortunately, the quote is actually from Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler s minister of propaganda. Castillo wins the vote by a small margin. As one of his first actions, he invites the IMF into Bolivia, thereby breaking his promise. The deeply disappointed Eduardo visits Bodine in her hotel; Bodine replies that she is not responsible for Castillo s actions. In her eyes, her job is done.
The disillusioned Eduardo joins his brothers at a demonstration of people demanding change. The police arrive and the demonstration quickly turns into a riot. Bodine and her crew join Candy on the way to the airport. All of them, except Bodine, have already taken jobs as political consultants in other countries. When Bodine realizes that she brought a liar into office, she has the car stopped and leaves to join Eduardo.
- Sandra Bullock as Calamity Jane Bodine, a retired political consultant hired by an unpopular Bolivian politician to help him win the presidential election.
- Scoot McNairy as Richard Buckley
- Billy Bob Thornton as Pat Candy, Jane s nemesis, who leads the opposition s campaign.
- Anthony Mackie as Ben
- Ann Dowd as Nell
- Joaquim de Almeida as Pedro Castillo, the Bolivian Presidential candidate who hires Jane.
- Zoe Kazan as LeBlanc, a researcher who specializes in digging up dirt on candidates.
- Reynaldo Pacheco as Eduardo, a young volunteer who befriends Jane.
- Dominic Flores as Hugo
- Louis Arcella as Rivera
- Octavio Gómez Berríos as Pepe
- Luis Chavez as Abraham
- Tilda Del Toro as Pedro Castillo s secretary
- Carmela Zumbado as a reporter (cameo)
- Ricardo Vargas as Campaign Worker
On April 22, 2007, it was announced that George Clooney would produce a dramatization of the 2005 documentary Our Brand Is Crisis, along with Grant Heslov, and Warner Bros. would handle American distribution rights. Peter Straughan was set to write the script, with Clooney attached as a potential director and star for the film, about the 2002 Bolivian presidential election s campaign by James Carville s Washington, D.C.-based political consulting firm Greenberg Carville Shrum, which was hired by candidate Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. On December 11, 2013, Sandra Bullock was in early talks to star in the film, while Clooney chose not to direct, and his starring in the film was also unconfirmed at that time.
On August 21, 2014, Bullock s casting was confirmed, playing a retired political consultant called Calamity Jane Bodine, and David Gordon Green was set to direct the film. On September 11, Scoot McNairy was added to the cast. On September 15, Billy Bob Thornton joined the film, and on September 18, Anthony Mackie joined the cast. On September 24, Ann Dowd joined the film. On October 10, Joaquim de Almeida and Zoe Kazan joined the cast, with Almeida playing Castillo, the former president of Bolivia, and Kazan playing a young woman who finds dirt on political candidates. On October 13, 2014, Participant Media announced that they would co-finance the film with Warner, while Jeffrey Skoll and Jonathan King would executive produce, along with Bullock and Stuart M. Besser. More casting was also announced, which included Reynaldo Pacheco, Dominic Flores, Louis Arcella, and Octavio Gómez.
Principal photography on the film began on September 29, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana, using 35mm film. Filming also took place in the Bonnet Carré Spillway in Norco in St. Charles Parish. Additional filming occurred in Puerto Rico and Bolivia.
In July 2015, Warner Bros. scheduled the film for an October 30, 2015 release, during the awards season. It had a wide release in 2,202 theaters for 21 days.
Our Brand Is Crisis grossed $7 million in North America and $1.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $8.6 million, against a budget of $28 million.
The film opened on October 30, 2015, alongside Burnt and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. In its opening weekend, it was projected to make $5–7 million from 2,202 theaters, however only ended up grossing $3.2 million, finishing eighth at the box office. This was the lowest wide release opening of Bullock s career, beating 1996 s Two If by Sea ($4.7 million).
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 35% based on 147 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The website s critical consensus reads, Our Brand Is Crisis offers sporadic amusement and benefits from a talented cast, but ultimately lacks enough of a bite to add much of interest to the political satire genre. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating mixed or average reviews . On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of C+ on an A+ to F scale.
Eric Kohn from Indiewire wrote that the movie is all about Bullock s performance, saying she imbues her part with a ferocious energy that constantly elevates the straightforward material . Peter Debruge from Variety thought that Jane Bodine, played by Bullock, is easily one of the best female roles of the last 10 years, while Benjamn Lee from The Guardian wrote that Bullock seems blissfully unaware of the film’s faults and delivers a performance that expertly plays on her strengths – her comic timing, wasted in lesser, plane-ready comedies, is on top form and she imbues her neurotic character with more than the thinly sketched quirks provided on the page; she commands a room when needed, perfects scenes of physical comedy and even turns a climax of forced sentiment into something poignant and believable ; he concluded that while the film is patchy, Bullock s brand is confidently crisis-free .
|Plot||A battle-hardened American political consultant is sent to help re-elect a controversial president in Bolivia, where she must compete with a long-term rival working for another candidate.|
|Awards||Awards, 2 nominations|
|Directors||David Gordon Green|
|Writers||Rachel Boynton, Peter Straughan|
|Stars||Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie|
|Produced by||Stuart M. Besser,Sandra Bullock,George Clooney,Gerardo Guerra,Grant Heslov,Jonathan King,Steven Mnuchin,Jeff Skoll|
|Music by||David Wingo|
|Cinematography by||Tim Orr|
|Film Editing by||Colin Patton|
|Casting By||Alexa L. Fogel,Karmen Leech,John Williams|
|Production Design by||Richard A. Wright|
|Art Direction by||Kelly Curley,Luis López-Baquero,César Morón|
|Set Decoration by||Maggie Martin,Monica Monserrate|
|Costume Design by||Jenny Eagan,Griselle Torres|
|Makeup Department||Martin Astles,Dominique Borrel,Darlene Brumfield,Emily Burka,Jillian Erickson,Adam Gaeta,Wade Hampton,Stacy Kelly,Miia Kovero,Keith Sayer,Allison Shepherd,Aimee Stuit,Linda Traxler,Tony Ward,Pamela S. Westmore|
|Production Management||Paola Gosalvez,Gerardo Guerra,Alissa M. Kantrow,Robin Le Chanu,Mark Scoon|
|Second Unit Director or Assistant Director||Bac DeLorme,Lance Gilbert,Courtenay Miles,Bradley Morris,Gerson Paz,Patricio Romay,Paul Schneider,Zack Smith|
|Art Department||Luis F. Aguilar,Alice Alward,Doug Bernard,Edward J. Borasch Jr.,Gladys Bustos,Félix Caraballo,Robert J. Carlyle,Jiye Choi,Jeremy Cisneros,John B. Clarey III,Randall S. Coe,Gary J. Coelho,Chris Craine,Matthew L. Crowson,Dora Fernández,Marian Gay,Gregory T. Geniusz,Dylan Gray,Drew Guajardo,Carlos Guillén,John Herbert,Juan Guallini Indij,Michael A. Johnson,Dave Kelsey,Jake Kuykendall,Twig Leveque,Derek Marengo,Steve Martemucci,Brian Mccolgan,Rick McLean,Sam Medina,Carmen Marie Colon Mejia,Ricardo Naveira,Marybeth O Connor,Jesse Michael Owen,Chad Palardy,Jason Perrine,Alixandra Petrovich,Brad Quintana,Blake Roussel,George Sanchez,Erica Severson,Michael Sunga,Lisa Tong,Liz Toonkel,Timothy Vierra,Matt Zaff|
|Sound Department||David Bach,Luis Bolívar,Greg Crawford,Thadd Day,Joel Dougherty,Russell Farmarco,Ryan Farris,Will Files,Christopher Flick,Gregg Frazier,Christof Gebert,David Grimaldi,Warren Hendriks,Ellen Heuer,Mary Jo Lang,Tim LeBlanc,Daniel Lepervanche,Alyson Dee Moore,Thomas J. O Connell,Jason Oliver,Mark Purcell,Jon Vogl,Bryon Williams,Dave Wilson,Linda Yeaney,Ryan Young,Shayna Brown,Russell Farmarco,Christopher Flick,John Roesch,Billy Theriot|
|Special Effects by||Frank Willis Balzer,John P. Cazin,Guy Clayton,Fabiola Fortuno,Robert Spurlock,Christopher Walsh|
|Visual Effects by||Lars Andersen,Steve Anderson,Andrea Bedelis,Niki Bern,Hayes Brien,Laura Brocato,Kris Carson,Stephen Casey,Erik Charlebois,Simone Clow,Darren Coombes,David Costello,Simon Cowell,Jonathan Dearing,Phillip Feiner,Rachel Fowler,Jonathan Hairman,Adrian Hauser,Mark Kwanten,Ashley Mason,Guy Masonwells,James McCarthy,Olga Midlenko,Carlo Monaghan,Bryn Morrow,Kurtis Richmond,Evan Shipard,Julia Strack,Wilson Tang,Randy Vellacott,Ian Watson,Chris B. Schnitzer|
|Stunts||Raul Alcocer,Jonathan Arthur,Nicolas Bosc,Jonathan Castellano,Andy Dylan,Katie Eischen,Eddie J. Fernandez,Lex D. Geddings,Mickey Giacomazzi,Lance Gilbert,Oscar Guerrero,Jaime Irizarry,Henry Kingi,Luis Angel Rondon Lopez,Jalil Jay Lynch,Mónica López,Tara Macken,Sam Medina,Angel Rafael Pagán,John E. Perez,George Quinones,Steven Ritzi,Hector Rivera Diaz,Thomas Rosales Jr.,Daniel Salinas González,Ronal Tejada,Norberto Vicente Vega|
|Camera and Electrical Department||Gustavo Accetta,Jason Adler,Jacob Alvarez,Kareem Audain,Miguel Baerga,Gerard Bartley,Nolan Beaver,Zachary Blosser,Coy Breaux,Marayda Cabrera,Daniela Cajías,Pete Chiaramonte,Manuel Cintron,Jarrid Clinkinbeard,Larry Cottrill,Joe D Alessandro,Lizz Diaz,Andrés Figueroa,Chris Fisher,Melissa Fisher,Rocky Ford,Nick C. Foster,David J. Frederick,Dan Furst,Nicholas Groetsch,Steven A. Guerrero,Bryan G. Haigh,Brian Hollars,Jimmy E. Jensen,Corey Kirkling,Justin Kursinsky,King Lanaux,Andy Luce,Cesar Marrero Sr.,Christopher Martin,Arturo Melero,Raphy Molinary,Tony Muller,Rigoberto X. Baerga Munoz,Amy Newman,Josh Nobles,Gabriel Padilla,Joseph Paolucci Jr.,Angel Pastrana,Orlando Kangry Perez,Patti Perret,Javier Pesquera,Matthew A. Petrosky,Roberto Pierson,Edgar Rivera Díaz,Daniel Rivera,Donald Roth,David Schmalz,Walter Bud Scott,Keegan Stokley,L. Chris Strong,Orlando Suárez,Nicolas Taborga,Jonathan Terpstra,Robby Terry,Ramón Vázquez,Amanda Warning,Ryland Witten-Smith|
|Casting Department||Rodrigo Bellott,Brad Bittner,Vivian Bruckman,John Crockett,Alison Goodman,Yolanda Guillen,Adam Hochfeld,Mary Huber,Lizeth Hutchings,Alyssa Jacobson,Alejandra López,Brian McCulley,Juan Pablo Richter,Pricilla Rodgers,Georgia Simon,Kathryn Zamora-Benson|
|Costume and Wardrobe Department||Allison Bauserman,Adriane Bennett,Lauren Bott,Regina Calvo,Yasiri Castro,Natalia Collazo,Peggy Donovan,Coco Dunaway,Emily Egge,Lea Guivas-Murphy,Logan Howcott,Dawn Huertas Arevalo,Nyima Johnston,Jennifer Kamrath,Molly Kamrath,Persephone Lauer,Sheryl Loiz,Ana C. Ramirez Velez,Rebecca Rivera,Antoinette Scherer,Olivia Vestina Torres,Ramón Sierra Torres|
|Editorial Department||Rafael Baez Jr.,Alex Bickel,Traci Duran,Fady Hadid,Erik Kaufmann,Adam Ohl,Amber Rivera,Daniel Sessoms,Charlie B. Spaht,Andrew M. Young|
|Location Management||Ruth Caffery,Johnny Calloway,Paola Cambo,Batou Chandler,Mónica Cortés,Luis R. Estrella-Rivera,Adaixa Freytes Iglesias,Albert J. Moten Jr.,Olivia Motley,Mariam Padial,Valeria Ponce,Vivian Rebella,Win Riley,Raysa Sanchez,Victor Segui,M. Gerard Sellers,Kai Thorup|
|Music Department||Brad Engleking,Darrell Hall,Gabe Hilfer,Paul Hoyle,Misha Kachkachishvili,Colleen M. Lutz,Jeff McIlwain,Jacob Nathan,Satoshi Mark Noguchi,Seda Ozen,Brett Pierce,Kevin Prockup,Jay B. Richardson,Ryan Robinson,Peter Rotter,Joseph Shirley,Jay Weigel,Devoe Yates,David Bertok|
|Script and Continuity Department||Scott Peterson,Coraly Santaliz,Brooke Satrazemis,Bryan Sundstrom|
|Transportation Department||Fabian Arroyo,Kirk Baptiste,Jose de Miguel,María de Orduña,Angel D. Lopez Jr.,Raul Poll,Gwendalane Ramos,Josiuan Rojas,Zabdiel Vazquez Rosario,Michael Schlumbrecht,Dexter P. Smith,Lauren Walter|
|Additional Crew||Amman Abbasi,Casiano Ancalle,Judy Bafaro,Laura Baukol,Tony Beard,Griselda Benitez,Maggie Biggar,Aleks Bracetti,Edward Brown,Vivian Bruckman,Bridgett Buss,Unjoo Lee Byars,Mariarosa Calderon,Sam Carmichael,Meghan Cirillo,Elizabeth Classen,Lauren Coggiola,Bonnie Cook,Kyle Cooper,Dax A. Cuesta,Lauren Elizabeth Cummings,Jennifer Davis,Chelsea Donison,Joe Everett,David Fencl,Hazen S. Finnerty Jr.,Jonathan Ford,Guillermo Fornaris,Rebecca Lee Fox,Isabella Franca,Kate Galbraith,Jeff Galpin,Scott Goldie,Daphne A. Guichard,Dan Gutierrez,Ben Hall,Jeannette Flores Harshbarger,Andre Herrera,Otto Heszky,Robert Higginbotham,Sam Horton,Lizeth Hutchings,Kristin Scott Irving,Kemel Jamis,April A. Janow,Jonathan Jefferies,Robert Kessel,Stasya Knight,Chelsea Krant,Julian Lawitschka,Justin Lebrun,Marlene Marks,Callie Martin,Tim Martin,Melanie Marx,Tom Mayhew,Angel McConnell,Mariant Medina,Allison A. Millican,Garrett Moe,Misty Oka,James Michael Otero,Emmanuel Pappas,Kristin Peterman,Scott Peterson,Christina Porter,Kendra Rasmussen,Lisa Raziano,Catalina Razzini,Glen Richard,Todd Rohal,Guido Salvatierra,Raquel Sanabria,Antonio Sifre,Melania Tejada,Jodi Tripi,Mel Turner,Mark Van Horne,Caleb Wiley,Alexander B. Williams,Jeff Winn,Jon Wood,Erik Andreasen,Racheline Benveniste,Paul Rodarte|
|Companies||Fortis Films, Participant, Smokehouse Pictures|
|Keywords||politician,bolivian politician,bus,bare butt,election|