31 March 2003 | zensixties
Well Done, realistic, but overdramatized Giuliani
Rudy is the TV film shown recently on USA starring James Woods as Rudolph Giuliani. It begins on September 10th, 2001 and then when the tragedy hits we go to flashbacks starting in 1982 when Rudy was associate Attorney General. The back and forth between the present (September 11th) and his past is a hard to pull off editing job that works well.
The 911 scenes go back and forth between actual footage Woods' portrayal, which again is effective and realistic. To his credit Woods didn't try to assume the mannerisms of Rudy too much so avoided the danger of lapsing into parody, but rather played the role as intense high drama...which wasn't exactly appropriate to Rudy's more low key reality.
Other flashbacks we get are 1984 when he's the US Attorney in New York who cracks down on the Mafia, 1989 when he loses the Mayoral race to Dinkins, 1992 when he grandstands for racist cops, 1993 when he wins the Mayoral election, as well as his marriage and his 2 extramarital relationships.
Overall a sympathetic portrayal of 2 decades of public office which of course culminates in 911, which is really what most of the film appropriately points towards. You will come away respecting Rudy if perhaps not agreeing with him.
Finally it's significant that James Woods got this role, as he noticed the highjackers on previous "test flights" and he reported his suspicions to the flight attendant. He reported it to the FBI post-911 and they confirmed they were the highjackers on his flight.