An Inconvenient Truth
(U) 100 min
Perhaps because somebody pointed out that jetting all over the US warning the masses about climate change was just a tad hypocritical (he’s still happy to fly to film festivals, mind), Al Gore and director Davis Guggenheim have brought his global warming ‘slideshow’ to the big screen. The result, as the alarmist tagline promises, is ‘by far the most terrifying film you will ever see’.
The public speaking gurus have done a number on Gore; a genial host replaces the charisma-free android with the censorious wife who couldn’t be bothered to make a fuss during the coup d’état of 2000. He’s still a little wooden and his attempts at humour recall Troy McClure from The Simpsons - ‘I’m Al Gore, I used to be the next president of the United States’ - not least because the film includes a clip from Futurama, The Simpsons sci-fi stable mate.
While not a groundbreaking piece of cinema - with its charts, graphs and CGI maps of flooding coastlines it’s little more than a PowerPoint presentation - it is nevertheless compelling. The occasional piece of manipulation finds its way in there, too, especially in the final moments when a sappy number by Melissa Etheridge swells over the closing credits - at odds with what is a sober and intelligent film.
But this is all about getting the message across and Gore does so in spades. And that message is: ‘we’re screwed!’ Although Gore preaches that it’s not too late to reverse climate change, only the most politically naive amongst us think salvation lies with our leaders. Quite the opposite. As Gore urges: ‘It’s up to all of us.’
Selected release from Fri 15 Sep.