Sunday, February 25, 2007
The convenience of truth: WAY TO GO GORE!
Tonight when Al Gore went up to the podium with Davis Guggenheim and company to accept the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, it must've been sweet for the former veep and presidential candidate who won the popular and probably the electoral vote in 2000, but conceded the election and failed to become President, something he has the unimaginable composure to joke about.
He's been riding a formidable wave with An Inconvenient Truth, not having to measure up to campaign expectations, not answerable to any party, poll or caucus, making a difference outside the Beltway that probably eclipses the effectiveness he could have had within it. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are also making enormous humanitarian and geo-political strides as freelance social crusaders. But Gore, he became an issue icon, a movie star, an environmental champion, a vindicated gladiator in the case against a global warming that the powers that be heretofore denied or trivialized.
This film is an outstanding tribute to redemption in the realm of social activism and the world of movies and in the story of a great, politically pedigreed and well-positioned American who just wasn't destined to become President of the United States when he ran.
"He is more popular now than he ever was in office, and he knows it," says Laurie David, one of the producers of Inconvenient Truth and a Hollywood environmental activist (and wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David) who has traveled around the world promoting the film with Gore. "He's a superhero now."An Inconvenient Truth was the first movie I saw when I returned permanently to American soil in July after living abroad for almost 4 years. I saw it in a small theatre in Greenwich Village with my sister during Independence Day week. I wasn't at all surprised at how well done and well intentioned it was, but I was amazed at how really good it was. And how impressive Gore, who was one of the most boring and fumble-mouthed campaigners ever to run for office, performed. He knew who he was up there and for any of us who ever wondered, we now know who he is, too. This documentary is no ordinary little indie movie. It has earned $45 million worldwide and sold a million DVDs. It doesn't just have legs. It has clout.
So all the A-list and wing-wag buzz these past few days, besides Maureen Dowd's devastating piece on that rascal David Geffen, who's fete-ing a Barak Obama multi-million dollar fundraiser, irresponsibly and gratuitiously mouthing off on his former cronies the Clintons, is: if Gore's movie wins the Oscar (director Guggenheim is the winner of record, not Gore himself) should he go for the Democratic nomination to run again for President? In fact, Leonardo diCaprio fed Gore a straight line, asking him if he had anything to announce. Obviously scripted, the music drowned out Gore's answer. Frankly, it fell flat. I think it was a sign. But Gore's addendum to Guggenheim's acceptance speech, imploring involvement and action, was brilliant.
I personally doubt Gore would or should seek the nomination. I think it would be a step down for him. Hillary Clinton represents one generation, Barak Obama appeals to another, but Gore, he's got it all. I hope he campaigns for whomever the Democratc nominee turns out to be and I hope he has significant impact on the environmental policy of the next administration. He's already won a more important race.
An Inconvenient Truth
Featuring: Al Gore
DIRECTOR: Davis Guggenheim
EDITOR: Jay Lash Cassidy and Dan Swietlik
DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Vantage
Congratulations, all. And no small measure of sincere thanks.
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.
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