Alec Baldwin Producing Documentary on Barney Frank, 'a Personal Hero of Mine'

Little more than a month after Alec Baldwin declared “goodbye to public life,” the liberal actor is back in the news after signing on as an executive producer of a documentary entitled Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank, which will debut on April 27 at the Tribeca Film Festival in lower Manhattan.

Barney Frank -- an openly gay, recently retired Congressman from Massachusetts -- “is a personal hero of mine,” Baldwin said in a statement regarding the project. “His legacy in Congress, and his historic importance as the first openly gay and married Congressman, are important for our country.”

The documentary is being directed and produced by Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler. Geralyn Dreyfous and Jamie Wolf are also serving alongside Baldwin as executive producers.

Not surprisingly, the film profiles Frank's 40-year career as “he discusses the role his homosexuality played in his campaigns for social justice.”

In a Facebook invitation, the documentary is described as a “fun and poignant portrait of one of our most well-known and least understood political figures” and “shows the damning effect of living in the closet, the freedom of living free, the triumph of love and the steady, strong power that comes from being true to oneself.”

While the film “alternates between deeply personal moments and the inner workings of our political process,” it also contains “rare archival material and interviews.”

Frank's journey is our country's journey, a classic American story about a dedicated public servant who never loses hope,” the text concludes.

Baldwin did the same for last year's Tribeca documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. which was acquired by Sundance Selects and opened theatrically in February.

Later in 2013, the left-wing 30 Rock star was fired from his Friday evening Up Late interview program after calling a photographer who was following him “a c**ksucking fag.”

This story has taken some ironic twists and turns along the way, since in 2005, Baldwin was cast as Frank in a Saturday Night Live skit, according to Joseph Kahn of the Boston Globe. Three years later, Baldwin bashed Frank on Bill Maher's Real Time program on HBO for “propping up” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the housing crisis.

However, it now appears that Baldwin is trying to win his way into liberals' hearts the only way they appreciate: shameless pandering.


One part of that tactic is to prominently feature liberals and their allies in the documentary, such as: Frank's marriage partner Jim Ready; Hank Paulson, who served as the 74th U.S. secretary of the treasurer; social and political commentator Mike Barnacle; filmmaker and gay-rights activist Lance Black; former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.; and Alan Simpson, a former GOP senator from Wyoming.

Others taking part in the project are: Eliot Spitzer, a former governor of New York state until he became involved in a prostitution scandal; Steve Elmendorf, who served as the senior advisor to House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt for 12 years; political scientist Norm Ornstein; Spencer Bachus, the Republican representative for Alabama's 6th congressional district; and Bethany McLean, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine.

Finally, liberal talk radio host Bill Press; Hastings Wyman, a writer for the Southern Political Report publication; Mike Oxley, a Republican who served as a U.S. representative from the 4th congressional district of Ohio; and Maxine Waters, the Democratic U.S. representative for California's 43rd congressional district, will show up on the big screen.

Given the liberal leanings of both Baldwin and Frank, it certainly seems likely that the film will effusively praise the former Congressman and possibly open the door for Baldwin to return to Hollywood's good graces -- if he's more accurate than the events depicted in the awful Noah movie.
 

Randy Hall
Randy Hall