||It's great to see a grown man cry when the man has as many good reasons as Sen. Jay Bulworth, the formerly viable American politician. He has a campaign speech ("We stand at the doorstep of a new millennium ... ") that bores even him to tears... He has enemies who pronounce him "an old liberal wine trying to pour itself into a new conservative bottle." So Bulworth, played by a magically revitalized Warren Beatty, who has directed this political satire with jubilant wit and energy, sits blubbering amid his Kennedy-era mementoes, realizing that he's come to the end of the line. And then lightning strikes, to raucously funny and liberating effect. On the eve of the 1996 California primary, though "the populace is unaroused" (as an opening title announces), Bulworth goes bonkers enough to take desperate measures. He does something that works here almost as galvanizingly as it did in Network: he speaks the unspeakable truth. In a potentially cheap high-concept gimmick, Bulworth lets its button-down white politician turn homeboy, rapping excitedly to the same electorate he once put to sleep. This is not a trick every 60ish matinee idol should try. But Beatty... well knows how to avoid making a fool of himself, and how to treat sheepish naivete as a fine comic advantage. And he turns this into the kind of imaginative, anything-goes escapade that movie audiences, in the days before the pre-sold, pre-fab blockbuster, had the luxury of taking in stride. Though Beatty is obviously dedicated to the passionately liberal agenda that is espoused here, it's not his particular convictions that make the film fly. Bulworth works, with both urbanity and chutzpah, on viewing political puppeteering with an all-purpose jaundiced eye. While Beatty's changeable Bulworth dominates virtually every scene, the film gets a hilarious boost from Oliver Platt as the senator's frazzled aide. Murphy, Platt's long-suffering character, defines the film's idea of the electoral process with a string of euphemisms meant to cover for his boss... Much of the film's fun comes from watching Bulworth exult in his newfound freedom. Having taken on lots of life insurance and hired his own assassin, he delights in saying and doing anything that comes to mind. He begins to bop jovially, wearing a silly grin; he stays till dawn at an after-hours club, playing disc jockey and scratching out his favorite dirty words from a couple of rap records... Bulworth, a crystal-clear reminder of what that statement means to American politics, has been made with the visual elegance of earlier Beatty films. Shot handsomely by Vittorio Storaro, with costumes by Milena Canonero and production design by Dean Tavoularis (who goes back with Beatty to Bonnie and Clyde), it has both polish and pizazz. In the ensemble cast, Don Cheadle, Jack Warden, Isaiah Washington, Paul Sorvino and Laurie Metcalf provide comparable touches of class.