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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blair and Clinton
Engaging, well-written and even-handed, 'The Special Relationship' is another film to add to the list of good political dramas of the last five years. The film's focus, though, differs to most other political dramas in that it is largely low-key and family based; an interesting tack that allows the film to showcase Bill Clinton's admittance of his infidelity to the...
Published on 15 Sep 2011 by Mr. D Burin

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Snoozefest
May need to watch this a few times as I dozed off. Very cheap used but not much to write home about - however it was worth the money.
Published 10 months ago by Smiler


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blair and Clinton, 15 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Special Relationship (HBO Films) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Engaging, well-written and even-handed, 'The Special Relationship' is another film to add to the list of good political dramas of the last five years. The film's focus, though, differs to most other political dramas in that it is largely low-key and family based; an interesting tack that allows the film to showcase Bill Clinton's admittance of his infidelity to the beleaguered Hilary (a superb Hope Davis), and Blair's personal struggle to gain popularity and political power; being the junior partner of the relationship at the film's opening, in a more personal context. Indeed, this family-oriented setting provides a solid backdrop to the revelations on everything from the Lewinski affair to Northern Ireland; and the approach of seeing how it may have affected the Blair and Clinton households gives the film an interesting and original extra dimension. The performances as a whole are good; Dennis Quaid grows into his role of Clinton well, and Michael Sheen is decent, if a little meek as Tony Blair; whilst the supporting cast (Hope Davis in particular) are very solid. 'The Special Relationship' is also a film which looks great, especially on Blu-Ray; with it's panoramic shots of the White House, the intimate scenes of Downing Street's kitchen, and the faux-'90s press-conference style footage. Though there's nothing incredible about 'The Special Relationship', it is a very good and insightful political piece that will strongly appeal to anyone interested in the PM/President political dynamic, or politics in general.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Special Relationship Revisited, 7 Dec 2010
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
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Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed this BBC-HBO production immensely, largely because of Michael Sheen's nuanced portrayal of Tony Blair. I have to acknowledge, however, that viewer reactions might be based upon how one feels about both Blair and Clinton. Some might find the film either too pro- or too con, because of the writers' and director's determination to keep the scenario firmly anchored in the middle of the political road, allowing the viewer to make up his mind on whether Blair began his political career as a novice, learned the political tricks of the trade (no pun intended) from a master conjurer, and then surpassed his mentor in dealing squarely with political reality.

The director is particularly neutral in his attitude toward the present Secretary of State, well acted by Hope Davis, while he allows (constantly munching) Dennis Quaid as her philandering husband a cringing leer, when she questions him about the truth of the Scandal; and Helen McCrory's Cherie, at times, suggests a crypto-Lady MacBeth in waiting. Not quite over-the-top performances, but almost!

Michael Sheen's often-underplayed portrayal of Blair keeps the film on track. He conveys a combination of vulnerable charm that soon emerges as infectious charisma--that the original does possess, whether one approves of him politically or not. Watching Sheen's portrayal, I found myself, at first, constantly readjusting my perspective, telling myself: "no, Sheen doesn't look at all like Blair." Soon, however, I forgot any initial scepticism, accepting Sheen's Tony-persona without reserve.

I therefore wish that the cinematographer had photo-shopped Sheen into the final newsreel scenes, because the sight of the real Blair brought me back to reality; but perhaps a sudden dose of reality is exactly what the director had in mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performances., 1 Feb 2011
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Calum I. MacLeod "ciml" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Special Relationship (HBO Films) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The script is good and the film is well made, but it's really the casting that makes this so worthwhile. Michael Sheen is excellent in his third film as Tony Blair. Dennis Quaid might not look much like Bill Clinton, but he certainly sounds the part and Hope Davis is very convincing as the First Lady.

Whether the Blu Ray format adds much to this type of docudrama is debateable, but I would recommend this film however you see it. To those not overly-familiar with UK politics, perhaps it's worth watching The Deal, The Queen and The Special Relationship in order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completing the Blair Trilogy, 30 July 2010
By 
Brawny Withed (Leeds, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This film is a superb example of a well crafted modern political drama.

The events are set between 1992 and 2001 and focus on the 'Special Relationship' between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bill Clinton.

The film starts with Tony Blair in Washington DC learning how to rebrand the Labour party and himself in order to win power from the Conservative party who have veeb in power for at this point well over a decade. Just before the Election Tony Blair meets Bill Clinton who pledges his support for Blair.
After the 1997 election victory the two leaders vow to carry on the Special Relationship with Blair the underdog in the relationship due to Clinton's heavyweight status on the world stage.
Meanwhile as the Monica Lewinsky scandal rocks Clinton's credibility as President and Blair gathers support for action in Kosovo the tables are turned with Blair turning out to be the dominant force in the relationship.

This film is the final piece of the Blair Trilogy of films preceded by 'The Deal' and 'The Queen' respectively.

Michael Sheen is again pitch perfect as Tony Blair and Dennis Quaid takes on Bill Clinton with uncanny resemblance. Helen Mcrory and Hope Davis are equally as good as Cheire Blair and Hilary Clinton.

If you want to see a well written, engaging and well written drama this is well worth watching.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That dog won't hunt, 20 Sep 2010
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
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I have liked everything that Michael Sheen was done recently.

He was great in Damned United and he plays a good Tony Blair.

This is all about the relationship between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. In the beginning it is suggested that Blair learnt how to gain power and exercise power by using some of the skills he learnt from Bill Clinton.

Clinton is famous for being a charismatic figure and this is confirmed even by his enemies.

Tony Blair was the junior partner in the special relationship but the US needed allies and Tony Blair was happy to support Bill Clinton in his hour of need which was when he was going to be impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

I remember when the events depicted in the this film happened. The story is all about the acquisition of power and the retention of power.

Clinton has to move on when Bush is elected and tony Blair has to create a new relationship but becomes the junior partner of Bush and eventually goes in to the war in Iraq.

This is a story about people. Things move on and those with power become nobodies again.

Surprisingly good film about what could be a boring subject.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film, 21 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. R. Bond "MetallicaSevenfoldTrivium" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I have just finished watching this film and I have to say it is very good. Both the lead performances are amazing, especially Dennis Quaid who's interpretation of Bill Clinton is spot on.

The film takes place mainly between 1996 - and the year 2000. It deals with a number of issues, however the second half of the film is the most intense as it deals with Tony Blair's efforts to tackle the events unfolding in Kosovo at the time.

The film highlights Tony Blair's distaste for genocidal dictators and his hope that the international community will sanction invasion on humanitarian grounds.

The film finishes with the election of George Bush, but doesn't go as far as the invasion of Iraq. However, Tony Blair's stance on Kosovo is obviously meant to reflect his stance on future conflicts with respect to overthrowing dictatorships. The film gives an insight into Tony Blair's morals and political thinking, which I personally admire, however, humanitarian interventionism is no doubt something that will continue to divide the political world.

'The Special Relationship' shows that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton were good friends, but there were some areas where they differ.

*Yes, I know I wrote to many "The film".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
By 
CATHERINE (COLCHESTER, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Excellent. Shows the real Blair/Clinton relationship. A must see !!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing film!!, 18 April 2014
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amazing film featuring Dennis Quaid as President Bill Clinton and Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair!! to be watched over and over again!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars History brought to life, 20 Mar 2014
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Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This film was made for television, the third in a series about the career of Tony Blair, the other two being The Deal and The Queen. It is about Blair's relationship with Bill Clinton. At first, he was Clinton's inferior but the scandals associated with Clinton allowed Blair to become his equal and moral superior. I love this kind of film because it makes people one has only heard of and seen as a public figure into real human beings and allows one to enter into the dynamics which actually shape history. Michael Sheen is really good in this role, and he shows Blair's complexities with a sure touch. Dennis Quaid is excellent as Clinton.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Special Relationship, 22 Dec 2013
I didn't realise Micheal Sheen had done another film as Tony Blair, and as I had The Queen, I thought I give this a look, and I'm glad I did its very interesting, and nice to see some of the cast from The Queen keeping their roles. If you liked The Queen, although this story is different I'd say its worth a viewing
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Special Relationship (HBO Films) [Blu-ray]
Special Relationship (HBO Films) [Blu-ray] by Michael Sheen (Blu-ray - 2010)
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