A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
This is the eighth documentary I have seen by Errol Morris. His "Gates of Heaven" is my favorite, while this one is eighth on my list. The story is that of Joyce McKinney, once a Wyoming beauty queen, who (she claims) fell obsessively in love with a young Mormon man named Kirk Anderson. She was later charged with kidnapping this man and forcing him to have sex.
I can see where this might appeal to Morris; after I had seen all his interviews with McKinney, a couple of news reporters with differing views, an airline pilot, and a Salt Lake City radio host I was left with no clear idea of exactly what happened. Oddly, documenting materials from one of the newspapers disappeared and the documentation in McKinney's possession was supposedly stolen. Another person who was closely involved in the escapade was Keith May, who had since died.
Most of the movie is taken up with Miss McKinney talking at us. The only thing I found to be true for sure is that she is a real space cadet. She admits to having had acting experience and you don't know whether to believe a word she says. She claims to have an IQ of 167, but I saw no evidence that she was above average in intelligence (in fact I would think the contrary).
Some of the clips used to illustrate the dialog were pretty silly, like some stock footage of a guy ripping a phone off the wall when one of the interviewees was talking about a phone cord having been pulled out. And I found the cutesy little cartoons particularly lame. Also, I was never sure whether I was seeing original footage or reenactments. For example, Kirk Anderson was described as being a very large man, but the clips we see of him show him to be of fairly normal weight.
The biggest weakness I found was that neither Kirk Anderson not Kieth May was interviewed (Anderson declined and May was dead). So, we never got the story from the only other people closely involved. I like stories that leave some ambiguity as to what happened, but stories like this where you don't have enough information to make an informed speculation are not satisfying.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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