An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Starring: Al Gore
Directed By: Davis Guggenheim
Overview: For years Al Gore has presented his slide show on global warming, illustrating its trends and its effect on our climate and our people. This documentary is not only this informative and sometimes funny presentation, but adds some personal elements from his own life.
Acting: Well! Gore is certainly a natural in front of that camera. We really don't see many others besides him, but the documentarist did a great job of making everyone look natural. Given that Al Gore's done this presentation over a thousand times I guess it wouldn't be too hard, but for those touching real-life moments, Gore delivers perfectly.
Cinematography: Powerpoint Plus, holy! What a nice presentation. I guess when you do it so often you might just want the bells, whistles, animations and forklifts if you can get em. Aside from the beautiful presentation which is most of this film, we have a couple candid moments, and some nice narrative bits that you expect from 'The Documentary', for those of you who need that safety net.
Script: "I'm Al Gore. I used to be the next President of the United States..."
The nice thing about this is that this movie isn't all bleak gloom and doom, there's some real witty moments, and Gore knows how to fuse tragedy with comedy, science with heart. This is a very telling documentary, full of facts and graphs that just astound. Gore explains in the clearest language possible that if we keep this up, it's over. In so many different ways we will be made to suffer, but saying it with a smile and a plan seems to make everyone leave feeling hopeful.
Plot: As with most documentaries, there is very little story. The slide show is the thing really, and it's great. Gore shows trends and risks and what we can expect if we let this go unchecked. Unfortunately, the 'solution' part was really less than five minutes, and consisted of one graph. I suppose it's best to tell people all the different things that are happening rather than illustrate what happens once we do do them.
Mood: The style here is far more big budget, far more docu-drama than the typical documentary. This seems to draw you in far better than the standard fact-telling film would. Like those other amazing documentaries The Take and The Corporation, this also leaves behind the elements of a story well told and a strong sense of hope, as long as we listen.
Overall Rating: 86% (Truly Terrific)
Aftertaste: It's a real shame that Al Gore didn't become our president. If he had, I can guarantee that US emission standards would be lower, perhaps even beating other nations. Corporations would have pollution standards, manufacturers would be making more efficient goods for consumers and America would no longer be the problem it is today, and others would follow suit. But no instead we have people blowing themselves up instead. Isn't it a beautiful world? Anyone who thinks that the US isn't the worst consumer on the planet, the worst polluter, the biggest waster... well they've obviously been living in a cave. And cave living is pretty environmentally sound, so hey, that's a good start. Don't judge the cave dwellers...