“WEINER” My rating: B
96 minutes | MPAA rating: R
Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s documentary begins back in 2011. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-New York) rises in the U.S. House to eviscerate his Republican colleagues for voting against special funding for medical care for 9-11 emergency responders.
Weiner is on fire. Scrappy, combative, mocking the GOPers for their shameful practice of voting not with their consciences but for political ends. It’s a hell of a performance. Makes you proud to be a liberal.
Of course the glow doesn’t last. Within months Weiner was caught up in a sexting scandal, having tweeted photos of his bulging BVDs to a woman not his wife.
At first he lied about it. Then he came clean. Then he resigned.
Most pols in that situation would pack it in. How do you resume a political career when you’re the punchline of a joke?
But Weiner didn’t give in. He threw himself into the 2013 New York mayoral race, which is where filmmakers Kriegman and Sternberg got on board. Weiner seems to have granted them unlimited access…rarely has a political campaign been documented with such warts-and-all total coverage.
And for a while it looks as if Weiner is going to put Dickgate behind him (“I hope to get a second chance to work for you…”). He’s the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. His pull-no-punches liberal combativeness and dedication to solving economic issues of the dwindling middle class are gobbled up by the voters (at times he seems like a mini-Bernie).
He leads NYC’s gay pride parade, waving a huge rainbow flag like Lady Liberty at the barricades. He hits the retirement homes.
“I have successfully whistled past the graveyard,” Weiner says of his political resurrection. Continue Reading »