By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
What do you think of when you think of when you hear the name ‘Anthony Weiner’?
Clearly, ‘weiner’ fits the man in all its potential meanings.
Weiner follows the embattled former Congressman as he begins an at first surprisingly successful campaign for Mayor of New York City, then proceeds to tank it right in front of our eyes with his regular ‘ol Weiner business.
Filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg lucked upon a political subject that will go down in history as a cautionary tale for politicians, documentary access, and plain humankind. The saga of Anthony Weiner just fails to end, or allow a modicum of pride to anyone caught up in it.
Don’t be surprised if Bill Hader’s playing “Tony Dongus” in a year.
Weiner is like a car-wreck in slow motion. The same tenacity and pride in his convictions that made him a rising star in the Dem0cratic Party seed his undoing even more than the infamous propensity for undoing his fly. He just can’t help himself, getting in verbal confrontations with talk show hosts and people on the street, showing the seams as he tries to find some other way to convincingly apologize for the same transgressions he apparently can’t help returning to again and again. The film just gets more and more insane, like how one of his textee chases him through a McDonalds in pursuit of her own 16th minute of fame. You can’t make this shit up.
What’s saddest about this is he’s far from the only politician whose rampant self regard defines him- but he at least seemed like one that could get something decent done in this world. Whelp…
His wife, and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s the second saddest thing- just the look on her face throughout the documentary as the man she clearly saw something in once self-destructs, engulfing her in his ever-expanding fireball. She still consents to be in the film, which is perhaps the strangest part of the whole sad, strange endeavor, even stranger than Weiner being so blinded to his own image that he did.
“Why have you let me film this?” indeed.
Some of the editing makes itself felt- Kriegman and Steinberg don’t need to try for ironic juxtaposition when all they have to do is train their camera on an unending fount of it, but they clearly can’t resist goosing it a bit here and there. Unnecessary.
Weiner is a portrait of hubris and self-regard made even more resonant by recent events. Perhaps the joke’s on all of us.
Weiner (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for apologies
Take a Drink: for interviews
Take a Drink: for comedy shows and bad puns
Take a Drink: whenever Huma looks like she wants to be anywhere else but here
Take a Drink: whenever Weiner digs himself into an ever-deeper hole
Do a Shot: for *ahem* Weiner shots