Friday :: Jun 2, 2006
Open Thread – “An Inconvenient Truth” Edition
Before giving you an Open Thread to start off Friday, read the San Francisco Chronicle’s review of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, wherein the paper gave the movie its highest rating:
If things are even half as bad as Al Gore says they are, "An Inconvenient Truth" is the most important movie anyone will make this year. The film's significance as a wake-up call about global warming overshadows all its other virtues. Yes, it handles complicated material in a clear and entertaining way. Yes, it renders cinematic what might have seemed like a static lecture, and yes, Al Gore is funny and engaging in a way you've never seen him be. But beyond that, the movie brings a feeling of history: Virtually everyone who sees this movie will be galvanized to do something about global warming -- and everyone should see this movie.
The camera has never loved Gore, but something is going on in "An Inconvenient Truth," and that's the other big story here. Like John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction," Gore has come back on the scene heavier, older and a lot more likable, physically transformed in a way as to allow people to see him as if for the first time. After years of looking like Clark Kent without the glasses, Gore looks like a heavyset mensch. Moreover, the change seems to be more than surface.
In "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore has the look of a man who's been through something big and awful and has come out the other side. Have you ever seen newsreel footage of the young Franklin D. Roosevelt before he contracted polio and contrasted it with the later Roosevelt of history? The young Roosevelt looks like a slick ambition machine, to whom nothing bad has ever happened. The older Roosevelt looks just as shrewd and calculating, but with a look in his eyes that suggests that now he knows why he's being shrewd and calculating. Well, Gore, who saw his life ambition turn to ashes thanks to a faulty ballot in Palm Beach County, has that look, and it's there for everyone to see in "An Inconvenient Truth."
What is the look? It's the look of no fear. It's the look of someone who understands that it's not all about him, and so he can finally relax and be himself. This makes him the ideal conduit for the global warming message.OK, it’s your turn.