Former VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore's crusade to raise awareness of global warming gets a useful new platform in "An Inconvenient Truth." Davis Guggenheim's docu is a straightforward record of the lecture Gore has toured for years, juiced by elaborate graphics. An excellent educational tool, pic may prove an awkward fit for theatrical distribution. Exposure through academic/activist channels and perhaps self-distributed, one-night-stand bookings (a la Warren Miller's sports films) could work best.
Defining how global warming works on the atmosphere and dramatically illustrating its effects with before-and-after photos of drastically shrunken glaciers, et al., Gore's data is concise and accessible, greatly aided by a state-of-the-art slide show involving computerized charts, photos, archival footage, even cartoons. Point is that pollution has wrought more drastic changes in a few decades than Earth has seen since the last Ice Age, with truly dire consequences just years ahead. Not a naturally ingratiating speaker, and one whose frequent stabs at humor here fall flat, Gore nonetheless builds a persuasive case for immediate action. Brief sequences of him as a lonely eco-warrior out on the road strike a contrived note, however. Tech aspects are first-rate.
Camera (color), Bob Richman, Guggenheim; editors, Jay Cassidy, Dan Swietlik; music, Michael Brook. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 25, 2006. Running time: 95 MIN.