Documenting a scandal. So this is about New York congressman Anthony Weiner. He resigned from his position back when some lewd photos of his got posted to the internet, but it was only a setback. He was determined to come back strong, putting in his bid for mayor… and then some additional photos surfaced during his campaign. Now I didn’t know a lot about this story, but I do recall catching some of the details on this peripherally back when the bulging underwear picture hit Twitter. Speaking as somebody who prefers Twitter to Facebook, I get it. It can be difficult to understand exactly what you’re sending to specific people and what you are sending to the world. It’s so common, it’s even a plot point in the terrific movie Chef. It ended up being this politician’s downfall, and it makes for a fascinating watch.
It’s kind of hard not to feel for the guy, especially because he owns up to his mistake.
I really got the impression that the entire reason why this was being filmed was to tell Anthony Weiner’s comeback story. When this starts, he has a lot of energy and moxie, and early on, he actually was leading in the polls for mayor. The additional items didn’t break until midway through his campaign, and the people shooting this documentary chose to see it through until the bitter end. The opening scene to this shows him giving a passionate speech to the House, and all of his credentials say that he has done a lot for the state that he cares so deeply about. But people don’t care about that. People want to know about the nitty-gritty, and the only questions he got fielded on his campaign trail were scandal related. I can’t speak about this man’s fidelity or his marriage, because it is not my place and I am sure there is plenty that happens behind closed doors when this couple is working on their marriage, but one thing that I can say is that it takes a lot of gall to put yourself out there, not throw in the towel, and see this through to completion, knowing that you will be scrutinized and ripped apart for something that has very little bearing on the job you’re applying for.
And facing all of the New York Post puns.
This is a very interesting documentary through and through. This man is continually trying to move on, but these people will not yield. You see campaigns like this in the movies, such as in something like The Ides of March, but it is positively wild when it happens in real life. You do walk away with a lot of questions about the marriage between Weiner and Huma, and how they interact together is a bit curious, but it’s never really your place to question it, much like how somebody’s personal life has very little bearing on their 9 – 5 job. It is kind of funny how much he is on his phone during this movie, but he is ultimately a statistic for another internet casualty.
Weiner (2016) ****
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016? See for yourself here.