Weiner (2016)

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9.0 Overall Score

Amazing look inside actual spin during a crisis

Hard to know if everything is real like with many documentaries

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Weiner

Studio:  Motto Pictures

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 24, 2016 (Sundance Film Festival)/May 20, 2016

MPAA Rating:  R

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So you might have heard I showed off my “Lil’ Weiner”…yeah, that happened

Anthony Weiner had a bright future.  He and his wife Huma Abedin seemed to be on the fast track to Washington elite…then Weiner has an internet sex scandal that wrecked his career.  Weiner is back and running for mayor of New York City in 2013.  Weiner has to explain his mistakes and make amends…but a whole new scandal is brewing.

Directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Seinberg, Weiner is a political documentary.  The film was released at Sundance Film Festival and received critical acclaim.  Controversy surfaced when Weiner claimed that the footage was used without his permission.

Weiner is an amazing documentary.  You always hear about spin and spin-doctors in politics, but here, you get to see it first-hand.  You also get inside into a relationship that many people question and get to see personal moments…plus, the film ends up having some political ramifications in the 2016 election.

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Way to keep your cool…

Weiner and Trump are a lot alike.  They both have the ability to sway people and reach people…but they are also both very self-destructive.  While Trump can seem to back down from something like taunting, Weiner can’t seem to get past the fact he is a really bad liar.  Both have problems recognizing their failings and that their actions have consequences…tangential or not.  It is interesting to see Weiner go from somewhat likable to a bad guy who hurts staff, the city, and his wife.

It is the relationship with Huma that is also interesting.  Huma (a close friend of Clinton) was criticized for “standing by her man” during his disgrace.  You get a little inside into Anthony and Huma’s relationship and you can see that Huma seems to really care about Weiner…who often treats her poorly.  You also get a little insight that the Anthony Weiner off camera might not be the same as the on camera when he belittles her twice in the film (even in front of staffers) after she didn’t walk out on him.

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Can’t even quit watching himself…

The other part of the film that is captivating is the spin itself.  Often when a politician tries to “trick” the public with spin, you wonder how they thought it was going to work (like Bill Clinton’s “what is ‘is’” moment from his own scandal).  Here, you see Weiner desperately trying to get dates and names to match up so he isn’t destroyed by the press…leading you wondering why he allowed himself to be filmed.

Weiner is a great political documentary that also has political ramifications.  Weiner once again was wrapped in controversy in the last week of the tumultuous 2016 election when the FBI discovered some of Clinton’s emails on his computer.  This sent the election into a tailspin (again) and led the FBI to indicate they might go after Clinton (again).  Clinton was cleared just before the election, but you have to wonder if Weiner might have hurt Clinton’s chances against Trump enough to cost her the election…it is doubtful, but you’ll never know…Weiner strikes again.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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