Friday, March 12, 2010

Capitalism: A Love Story: Grade D

Capitalism: A Love Story
Michael Moore; Writer and director Michael Moore.

This latest offering from serial documentarian Moore considers the political and economic machinations that led to the financial collapse of 2008. He purports to be shocked and outraged that corporations are in business ONLY to make money, and that politicians are corrupt and hypocritical. Well, maybe those facts will be news to some people just recently arrived to America. Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was head of Goldman Sachs just before its government bailout? Who knew? Not Moore, apparently.

As for his explanation of capitalism, he is way out of his depth. He obviously has little education in economics. His “people before profits” message is shrill and totally one-sided. The film meanders from one diatribe to the next with without focus or purpose. On the plus side, Moore skillfully interweaves archival footage of business and political figures with contemporary interviews, often humorously, to highlight hypocrisy; and he excels as always in editing his interviews to make his subjects look stupid, malevolent or melodramatically heroic. So his considerable craft is evident. But as for content, there just isn’t any.

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