In his own mind, he saw himself as Kahn’s “The Weiner the World Awaited.”
Weiner is a mind numbing documentary likely to be nominated in that Oscar category. As only a narcissist could do, he allows the camera to look behind the curtain to reveal an ego driven politician in need of excellent psychiatric care.
The entire film makes you feel like you were watching a flasher film of a likeable pervert exposing himself while walking through a park only to deny it when confronted. Using another analogy, think of Donald Trump allowing cameras to follow him at his office and home and you’ll understand this movie’s stunning impact.
By his own admission, Anthony Weiner represented many 21st century American politicians. They focus solely on themselves 24 hours a day. Constantly seeking praise and raising money, when is any action described as “going too far”? As long as no one is hurt, who cares?
However, Weiner’s problem is characterized by a startling moment when he was interviewed on television during the New York Mayoral election in 2013 by Lawrence O’Donnell. Mr. O’Donnell begins with the direct question, “What is wrong with you?” Startled, Weiner aggressively responds in a fashion that leaves him grinning with pride while horrifying the viewing audience.
As most of you know, Mr. Weiner was forced to resign from his Congressional office after being caught sending explicit sexual text messages to a variety of women. His problem was exacerbated by the fact that he was married to Huma Abedin, a close aid-de-camp to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Returning to the race for mayor claiming to be a “new man”, he mistakenly invites cameras to film his rebirth. Unfortunately, it is then revealed that he has resumed his teenage boy shenanigans two weeks before the election. A crisis develops, Weiner becomes a subject of ridicule in newspapers and on national TV, and the camera allows you to see him moan and groan with his troubled aides.
While it soon becomes clear that Weiner is little more than a twisted, chauvinistic pig who champions good causes, the film leaves you cringing as you watch the reaction of his wife. Forced to repeatedly stand in front of the camera next to Weiner as he watches his transgressions played out on TV, your heart breaks as she stoically looks away, arms tightly folded and a face filled with disbelief. She is to be admired because she stuck by a man she loved despite the fact that he indirectly brought her shame and ridicule.
Yes, they were parents of a small child, but no one would have blamed her if she had dumped him.