Noriega: God's Favorite

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Historical, Political

This chilling and effective biopic casts an unlikely Bob Hoskins in the role of Panamanian dictator General Manuel Antonio Noriega. Hoskins delivers an authenticity that overcomes any physical dissimilarities to the famously pockmarked dictator. He creates an intricate, multi-layered depiction showing a mix of brutality, wisdom, shrewdness, and impishness....read more

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Reviewed by William Kozy
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This chilling and effective biopic casts an unlikely Bob Hoskins in the role of Panamanian dictator General Manuel Antonio Noriega. Hoskins delivers an authenticity that overcomes any physical dissimilarities to the famously pockmarked dictator. He creates an intricate, multi-layered depiction showing a mix of brutality, wisdom, shrewdness, and impishness. The story takes place mostly in flashback, interspersed with Noriega narrating the tale of his rise and fall to a priest during confession. As head of the army, he summons his soldiers to disrupt the ballot counting in a democratic election to seize power for himself. Alternately soliciting advice from witch doctors and rebuffing them, we see the conflicted nature of Noriega. Cleverly - and with depraved tactics - he overturns a coup attempt by well-meaning Major Giroldi (Nestor Carbonell of TV’s “Suddenly Susan”). The movie also provides insight to how U.S. involvement in Central American politics has often been bungled by confusion and poor assessment of the players involved. Taking refuge from invading US forces in a church during his final days as leader, Noriega asks why God has granted a third act to his life. The story intimates a poetic justice that may yet come. Director Roger Spottiswoode renders even the most horrific with a flatness that underscores Noriega’s twisted psyche and highlights his political acumen.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This chilling and effective biopic casts an unlikely Bob Hoskins in the role of Panamanian dictator General Manuel Antonio Noriega. Hoskins delivers an authenticity that overcomes any physical dissimilarities to the famously pockmarked dictator. He creates… (more)

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