sâmbătă, 6 mai 2017

Advise & Consent, based on the Pulitzer Prize Winner by Allen Drury

Advise & Consent, based on the Pulitzer Prize Winner by Allen Drury

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Advise & Consent is a formidable political drama that is at times as tense as any thriller worthy of its name.
This spectacular film benefits from a stupendous original material that has won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960.

The director Otto Preminger has been three times nominated for an Academy Award and has been at the helm of films like:

-          Anatomy of a Murder and Exodus

Henry Fonda is tremendous as always in the role of Robert Leffingwell and so is Charles Laughton, even if the latter seemed somewhat tired.
The president has nominated Leffingwell to become his next secretary of state and the Senate committee must decide on this proposal.

There are machinations and behind closed doors negotiations that are familiar and relevant to this present day.
Over the past couple of days, the American House of Representatives has passed a bill to repeal Obama Care.

This is only going one third of the way, as discussions and polemic will ensue in the Senate, but I can’t help but think that what is going on right now in those white marble halls must look very similar to what we can see in Advise and Consent.
Furthermore, the pick of The Donald- a president that does not resemble the one in this movie, frail as he is, but Trump acts more like a Disney cartoon- was also a very controversial one and behaves in a strange manner, at least towards the press he avoids.

Robert Leffingwell is supported by most of his own party as is to be expected, but he is furiously opposed by Senator Seabright Cooley from Alabama and portrayed prodigiously by Charles Laughton.

The nominee has some skeletons in the closet, even if they pale in comparison with what is publicly known and yet ignored by the fans of the narcissist who boasted about grabbing women by their pussy and walking in the dressing rooms of teenage contestants of beauty pageants just because he can get away with…well, it turns out almost anything.
The contrast between what bad things people in the movie do and what this unscrupulous, ridiculous monster has done and still got promoted to the most important position in the world is overwhelming.

Robert Leffingwell had some sympathy in his youth for communist ideas and I abhor that, having lived for twenty five years under a communist regime.
But there is a joke that says that:

-          Who is not a communist when young has no heart, but who is still a communist when old has no brains

I would rather have no one entertaining commie thoughts, young or old, but having made a mistake in youth does not mean that that person should be stigmatized for life and comparing still with real life, voters have forgiven thousands of times more in the case of a man who is in real life the leader of the free world.

-          Some leader!!!

In the film, the Senate committee is led by another man who is accomplished, scrupulous and idealistic now.
Alas, there is something in his past that would create a lot of trouble if it came to light and blackmailers speculate that.

I cannot help but jump to reality yet again and think what that would do to a politician in this day and age.
Homosexuality is not illegal anymore in America, but it is regarded differently in the Bible belt and The West and East Coast.

It is preposterous to see what can damage the career of a politician on screen, decades ago and how much voters can take without disgust when they elect someone to the highest office and even more disappointing is to find out that those same supporters are not disappointed by the lousy performance of this clown, in his first one hundred days in office, but on the contrary they are still enraptured.

Indeed, as Bill Mahler said on his show:

-          It does not matter what Trump does, they will still vote for him…actually the orange man himself has said as much

Advise & Consent is a stunning movie.

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