Andy Garcia as Mikheil Saakashvili

The star of Godfather III star has apparently been enlisted to play the Georgian President in an upcoming film depiction of the August war:

Television pictures showed Garcia holding court in a suit, red tie and a lapel pin bearing the red-and-white Georgian flag in Saakashvili's office in the presidential palace. [See above.]

The plot revolves around an American reporter who gets caught in the crossfire as war engulfs the country, testing his impartiality as a journalist. Papuna Davitaia, a parliament deputy from Saakashvili's ruling United National Movement, is one of the producers on the project.

"Our main concern was to show war as a bad thing," executive producer Michael Flannigan told Georgian television. "We had an opportunity to make a really anti-war film."

Garcia's actually not a bad choice for Saakashvili, though it's pretty doubtful that a film backed by Saakashvili himself and helmed by  the director of "Deep Blue Sea" and "Cliffhanger" is going to accurately capture complexity and moral ambiguity of the August war.

On the other hand, all will be forgiven if they can get Daniel Craig to play Putin. 



And the winner is... no one

It's not a good sign when your leadership prize runs out of eligible candidates to honor after a whopping two years. Welcome to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, whose winner was meant to be announced in London today. 

This year the Prize Committee has considered some credible candidates. However, after in-depth review, the Prize Committee could not select a winner."

Yikes. It's been a rough year for African governance. A coup in Guinea led off the year last November, followed shortly by another unwelcome transition of power in Madagascar. Retiring heads of state this year included only Ghana's John Kufuor and South Africa's Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, who served for under a year. All the other elections were marred by voting irregularities, repression, and/or the reinstatement of long-time rulers for whom 3rd term is not a dirty word.

The good news? The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was founded to make a statement about the need for more and better African Leadership -- and it has certainly done that this year.