An Inconvenient Truth Review
By Joe Lozito
The facts surrounding global warming are not in dispute. As "An Inconvenient Truth" proves during a startlingly effective 90 minute presentation given by "the former next President of the United States" - as Al Gore jokingly introduces himself. And yes, Mr. Gore can joke - though it does sound a little stiff. I don't know if it's his Tennessee twang or some nervous affectation, but something about the way Al Gore makes a joke comes off sounding like it's a new technique he's still getting used to. But the jokes are not what's important about "An Inconvenient Truth". It's the content of Mr. Gore's presentation - constructed apparently via his ever-present PowerBook - which hits home. If you've ever thought global warming wasn't real, or if you think we can ignore the problem and hope it goes away - or if you think the powers-that-be will take care of things - this is a film you must see.
Mr. Gore begins with the famous "Earthrise" image taken from Apollo 11 and over the course of the film meticulously illuminates the problem facing our planet today. Temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting, deserts are spreading, storms are becoming more powerful. And we're almost past the point of no return. From the predictions presented in the film, within the next ten to fifty years, Earth may begin fighting back against a culture that has taken advantage of her one too many times.
The former Vice President shows more passion and, yes, humor than he ever did in office or on the campaign trail. One can't help but think either (a) he's been practicing; (b) it would have been nice to see this newfound fervor while he was campaigning; (c) maybe he has found a cause that he believes in more than being President. The director Davis Guggenheim should be credited for making an hour and a half presentation palatable via some beautiful and disturbing imagery of our planet in distress. Mr. Guggenheim also delves into Mr. Gore's personal history, though that feels a bit out of place.
As a presentation about global warming and its effects, "Truth" is exceptional. Mr. Gore seems to have a limitless supply of charts and graphs at his disposal and he continues presenting them long after his point has been proven. As a film, "Truth" would have benefited from a larger perspective on the issue. Of course the same could be said of Michael Moore's equally one-sided Fahrenheit 9/11
, but at least that film was funny. What "Truth" needs is an examination of what we as a society are not doing and why. The closest we get are a few offhanded comments about "the current administration". If what Mr. Gore predicts is accurate, in fifty years this film may be seen as shouting into the wind. But with winds getting stronger, Mr. Gore - and the rest of us - are going to have to start shouting a lot louder.