At the Venice film festival last week, George Clooney unveiled his new backstairs political drama, The Ides of March, about a Democratic presidential candidate getting bogged down in compromise, backstabbing and the dark political arts. Clooney said that he could conceivably have completed the film before now, but President Obama had been doing too well, and therefore the time wasn't right.
Perhaps Clooney was being serious and perhaps he wasn't. But the remark typifies the dwindling of the memory of 9/11 in Hollywood cinema. The Obama presidency, ushered in by the catastrophe of the Bush reign, is now perceived to be in trouble, and this enables a prominent Hollywood liberal to make the kind of savvy, ahistorically pessimistic political movie that could have been produced at