Al Gore, the Movie
Al Gore? Star?
Apparently so. Perhaps the transformation has something to do with the filmmakers: Participant's Jeff Skoll executive-produced, Lawrence Bender (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) produced, and Davis Guggenheim (Deadwood) directed. By all accounts, Guggenheim humanizes Gore, re-casting the famously wooden politician as Everyman on a mission. Part Cassandra, part Willy Loman, says the Post.
The film touches briefly but with emotion on three events in Gore's life and how they inspired his environmental activism: the car accident that almost took the life of his son; his defeat in Florida to Bush; and perhaps most foreboding, the death of his sister, a lifelong smoker, from lung cancer ("That's not one of the ways you want to die," Gore says in the film in a voice-over) and the fact that his family farmed tobacco and didn't stop until after her death. Gore underscores that this is the way people are, that it is hard to change old habits, be it smoking or growing tobacco or emitting carbon dioxide, but that without change, the bell tolls.The documentary revolves around Gore's traveling multimedia presentation, and Guggenheim tells Reuters that it was disconcerting to "see the things in the lecture starting to come true. We were on our way to talk to all 50 state insurance commissioners in New Orleans, but there were threatening sea levels, and they told us not to come." The meetings were cancelled by Katrina.
As it happened, that cancellation freed Gore to speak at the Sierra Summit, where he received several standing ovations -- a star already.