Throwing caution to the wind, producer-director-cowriter-star Warren Beatty sounds off angrily and shrewdly about politics, delivering what is possibly his best film and certainly his funniest and liveliest. Beatty plays a senator, up for reelection in 1996, who suffers a nervous breakdown, takes out a contract on himself, and with nothing to lose finds himself blurting out the truth–mostly in the style of street rap. He addresses the lies of the government in general and the Democratic Party in particular, especially (but not exclusively) regarding black people, and once he starts hanging out with the daughter of Black Panthers (Halle Berry), whether the two of them will have sex becomes more of an issue than whether he’ll get reelected. This lacks the craft of Preston Sturges or Frank Capra, but it offers a personal statement that may be just as important, and some of it equals Richard Pryor’s concert films in farcical candor and reckless energy. Coscripted by Jeremy Pikser; with Oliver Platt, Jack Warden, Paul Sorvino, Don Cheadle, Amiri Baraka, and lots of enjoyable cameos. Biograph, Burnham Plaza, Chatham 14, Esquire, Gardens, Golf Glen, Hyde Park, Lawndale, Lincoln Village, Norridge, North Riverside, 62nd & Western. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.