An Inconvenient Truth

on May 24, 2006 by Annlee Ellingson
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A self-professed "recovering politician," former Vice President Al Gore has embarked on a new career -- crisscrossing the globe stumping for his pet cause, the prevention of global warming. The topic has consumed the popularly elected POTUS ever since his studies at Harvard under Professor Roger Revelle, an early predictor of the phenomenon, and characterized much of his early politicking. Indeed, among the archival footage in Davis Guggenheim's film is a young Gore -- long before the infamous Florida election, here recalled simply in images--compelling his Congressional peers to act. To his disappointment, they didn't.

So now he's a public speaker, armed with a multimedia presentation -- PowerPoint on steroids -- that includes a hydraulic lift employed to drive his most salient points home. Centered around Gore's lecture, the film is also an intimate portrait that examines the seminal events in his personal life that laid the groundwork for his evangelism today.

Among Gore's arsenal are alarmingly graphic maps and charts -- along with a whimsical clip from "Futurama" (secured, surely, by his daughter Kristen, who writes for the satiric 'toon). Gore plainly illustrates the bind we find ourselves in environmentally, while swiftly and effectively dismissing any so-called "debate" on the issue, and he deftly manages the emotional journey of the audience from shock and despair to hope and inspiration.

Throughout, Gore exhibits an easygoing wit in stark contrast to the stiff reputation he garnered during his campaign for the presidency. Along with an as-yet untitled documentary short by Spike Jonze, which was screened at the Democratic Convention during Gore's bid for the White House, this kind of uncensored access could have made all the difference in the election. Featuring Al Gore. Directed by Davis Guggenheim. Produced by Laurie David, Lawrence Bender and Scott Z. Burns. A Paramount Classics release. Documentary. Running time: 100 min. Rated PG for mild thematic elements

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