Documentary filmmaker Alexandria Pelosi tours red state America examining the practices, politics and beliefs of fundamentalist evangelical Christians. Interviewees include Jerry Falwell (... See full summary »
Emmy(R)-winning filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi ('Journeys With George') explores scandalized former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey's new life as a spiritual advisor to female prison inmates and a soon-to-be ordained Episcopalian priest.
I wouldn't quite describe myself as a political junkie, but as an independent film actor with a keen interest in politics --particularly this year -- you'd think this film would pique my interest.
So did I. But it didn't.
Pelosi definitely has a sense of humor, and either her pedigree, her success with the first film, or her charming personality has afforded her a sort of personal rapport with politicians I haven't seen exhibited with any other media types. But...that's it. You can tell the various wannabes are intrigued to be with her (most of them anyway), and in just a few short minutes of her footage you can tell certain things about certain men...Gephardt is the quintessential politician, always upbeat, always happy and confident about everything...Edwards is rather curt and rude...Bush something of an obsessed egoist (repeating to Pelosi a couple of times that he "made you famous!") Kerry has a big head etc., but Pelosi doesn't really do anything with the unique access that she is afforded. In a word, the film is...pretty boring. What seems like it might turn out to be a fascinating expose, an inside look at men we see on TV every night but don't know at all beyond their polished images, teases and then falls short.
It simply doesn't go anywhere. You slog through almost an hour and a half of...well, not much more than what we've seen on the nightly news for the last year and a half, plus a couple of cutaways. There are no moments that would be Candid Camera worthy, and even at half its current length it still would've felt too long. She needed more...moments, more insights, more truths that we're not privy to from the mainstream media to make this film worthwhile. And there aren't any. Towards the end of the film, she gives John Kerry a big speech outlining what her goals for the film were. They went through one ear and out the other; whatever they were, they just didn't succeed.
I didn't see Journeys with George. I assume that was a far better, more insightful film, one which gave Ms. Pelosi the clout to create another, similarly themed movie this year. Unfortunately for Pelosi, if HBO makes a determination every political season as to the worthiness of her latest endeavor, and on that basis determines whether to broadcast/fund her project in the next election cycle, there will be no "Chillin' with Hill and Bill" in 2008.
Despite all this, I'd love to meet her. She's purrty, obviously smart, politically savvy, and has a great sense of humor. Alexandra, if you're reading this, forgive my harsh words and email me! :)
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