AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006)
Starring Al Gore.
Directed by Davis Guggenheim.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures Classics. 100 minutes. Rated PG.
This is such a cliché that I hesitate to open this review with it, however in this case it is nearly impossible to avoid. An Inconvenient Truth may very well be the most important movie that you will ever see.
No matter where you come down on the political divide or what you think of former Vice President (arguably former President) Al Gore, put that aside. Because Gore is merely the vessel here; the conduit for information which could be vital to the survival of the planet.
Gore has been a champion of the cause against global warning for his entire career. His calls for ecological sense have often fallen on deaf ears. However, as this past year showed with the destruction of New Orleans and the Asian tsunami, nature is a deadly and vital force which can’t be overlooked anymore. You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to realize that something weird and scary is going on in the world.
There is very little argument on the facts presented in the movie, as Gore points out here. Of course, Gore knows better than most that whether or not there is a valid argument on a point, there will be people who will take pot shots. Remember how his critics portrayed Gore as a loon for saying he created the internet? In fact, what he really said (which was absolutely true), was that as a Senator he was very involved in getting the Arpanet – the military computer network which soon mutated into the internet – off the ground.
However even if you buy into the suggestion of a Republican Senator that global warming is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the world, you still owe it to yourself and your community to see this film. Research the claims and refute them if you can. If not, perhaps consider changing your lifestyle a bit. Not for political or philosophical reasons, but for the survival of the planet.
Even if the idea of an hour and a half hearing about weather and the earth’s crust and the ecosystem sounds like eye-glazing stuff, you’ll be surprising how interesting and engaging the film is. I am “scientifically challenged” but only once or twice did the technical descriptions lose me. Gore and director Davis Guggenheim keep the descriptions simple, clear and surprisingly funny.
Gore is charming, forceful, informative and loose here. (“Hi, I’m Al Gore, the former next President of the United States.) All the stiffness which he (somewhat unfairly) was rebuked for in the 2000 elections has completely faded away. It’s an impressive image transformation – Gore portrays a science and political wonk as a rock star.
The movie is Gore’s reminder (as if any was needed) of how different the world might be had the country not been handed to George W. Bush by Katherine Harris and the Republican Supreme Court. He comes off as not only more intelligent and having more of a plan that the current inhabitor of the White House, he even beats out Dubya in his beloved rating of someone I’d like to have a beer with. With Bush’s approval ratings hovering around the level of trigonometry, you must wonder if Gore does not take a certain amount of bemusement that he’s suddenly much hipper.
Is An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore’s reentry into the political fray? Perhaps, but I’d like to believe that it comes from a true and passionate belief in the cause. As is persuasively pointed out in An Inconvenient Truth, any human being – even one who has won the popular vote for President of the United States – is just a tiny, insignificant blip on the ecosystem of the Universe. The best any of us can do is try to better our world while we are here. (6/06)
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: May 13, 2006.