Dustin Hoffman received his seventh and last Oscar nomination so far for playing Stanley Motss a Hollywood film producer who gets in on making a staged war to distract the American public from the presidents sexual indiscretions.
Wag the Dog is a political satire of the U.S. political system. It has its somewhat clever moments, but for the most of the film, it comes off as a bit too unrealistic. It just is not as smart of a film as critics at the time (Siskel and Ebert) claimed it to be. I found many of the performances to be obnoxious and the whole feel of the film slightly annoying.
One thing I did like was Dustin Hoffman's performance, and I felt it was the only thing that good about the film. Hoffman plays the Hollywood producer with the proper energy, that he alone it kind of entertaining to watch. Hoffman from the get go is a nice presence and strikes the perfect note as the proud producer. He certainly seems like a producer, who loves his job but hates the fact that he never gets a enough credit. He gets the whole thing down so he is very entertaining. I like how he always wants to be in control, because he wants to make sure he gets his vision across.
Hoffman handles the "war" making scenes very well, and better than everyone else, because he describes as a movie and does not take it overly seriously. I like the scenes where he wants his ideas just like how he needs them, and he made those scenes almost work. He never has any big emotional scenes nor does his character have an extreme amount of depth, but Hoffman does a fine job, and gives a nice entertaining performance. Not the biggest challenge of his career but Hoffman uses his skills well, and becomes the only part of the movie I really liked.