It's hard to imagine a major newspaper according Style section coverage to a 10-part documentary that was the brainchild of a conservative filmmaker with a penchant for conspiracy theories. But a left-winger, that's a different story. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday today gave readers of the paper a 12-paragraph puff piece about "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States" which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on Showtime and focuses considerable attention on FDR's vice president Henry Wallace, a socialist who, had he been re-nominated in 1944 instead of Harry Truman, would have succeeded to the presidency in 1945 upon Roosevelt's death.
"Untold History" is a 10-hour-long documentary grounded "in indisputable fact," Hornaday assures readers, noting that Stone's collaborator in the project is an American University professor, Peter Kuznick.
It’s surprising that Hollywood would make a film that sympathetically argues for school choice, the movie Won’t Back Down, starring accomplished actresses Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s not surprising that liberal Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday would then offer a withering one-star review that seemed more like a political judgment than an artistic estimate.
Hornaday huffed: “More than a portrait of spontaneous motherly outrage, it becomes clear that the movie has been designed as an anti-union, pro-charter screed, the fictional counterpart to the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.”
In the Sunday Washington Post, film critic Ann Hornaday puts on her left-wing political beret to honor a documentary called “Maxed Out” now playing on the Showtime channel -- and its star, Elizabeth Warren, currently running as a Democrat against Republican Sen. Scott Brown for “Ted Kennedy’s seat” in the Senate.
James Scurlock, the director of “Maxed Out,” is all gush to the Post. “You look at the way people have responded to her, I’m just in awe,” he said. “I live in L.A., which is a celebrity culture, and people get much more excited when you say you know Elizabeth Warren than if I knew Angelina Jolie or George Clooney. She’s like a rock star.”
Robert Redford's "The Conspirator" is a thinly-veiled political allegory warning against the danger of trying terrorists in military tribunals. And that's why his movie about the military trial of Lincoln assassination conspirator Mary Surratt is problematic.
That's not me talking, that's Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday in her April 15 movie review:
As NB's Noel Sheppard noted on Sunday, the new film "Fair Game" is so full of falsehoods and is such an affront to historical accuracy that even the Washington Post's editorial staff felt obligated to debunk the many untruths it presents.
On Friday, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday merged her review of Iron Man 2 with a leftist documentary on convicted conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This strange mix led to Hornaday recklessly suggesting that Abramoff and former Rep. Tom DeLay may rehabilitate their careers when they should have been "killed off." Is that a metaphor? Not if you're holding a sign at a Tea Party rally. Here's how Hornaday concluded:
Abramoff is due to be released from prison later this year. With his trial for breaking Texas campaign finance laws still pending, DeLay went dancing on TV, presumably until he's either convicted or free to make his political comeback. [Former DeLay aide Michael] Scanlon has pleaded guilty but has yet to be sentenced, evidently in order to testify against anyone who might still be indicted. As every decent comic book villain knows, if the good guys don't succeed in completely killing you off, you can be counted on to show up again in the sequel.
Hornaday made a series of strange Iron Man/Abramoff analogies before the kill-them-off ending:
Six years after "The Passion of the Christ," anyone expecting a renaissance in faith-based movies has largely been disappointed. This is not to say such movies aren't produced. Every now and then, there's a movie made for this audience, but the audience won't hear about it from the movie critics because these elites aren't interested.
Last weekend, a new film premiered called "Letters to God." A title can't be more explicit about its plot. It's a movie about a 9-year-old soccer-crazy boy stricken with cancer, and the inspiring letters he writes each day to God. It's about prayer — certainly not a favorite topic for secular, sybaritic Hollywood.
When this movie arrived in offices of movie critics at major newspapers and magazines, the splashing sound you heard was the vomit hitting the floor.
The Washington Post championed a new documentary on Friday, a film airing only at one art theater in town. It’s still championing America-bashing radical leftist whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg in a new film titled "The Most Dangerous Man in America."
In a large spread that starts at the top of the front page of the Style section, film critic Ann Hornaday celebrated Ellsberg’s "moral courage" for damaging the war effort by leaking the so-called "Pentagon Papers" to the New York Times in 1971. Hornaday insisted Ellsberg’s radicalism is still "astonishingly germane" today (although the Post never described him with any ideological label, or described the Vietnamese enemy as communists.)
Hornaday lectured that today’s blogosphere-besmirched media might not emphasize and celebrate the "elegant calculus" and "formidable logic" of Ellsberg’s acts today, like the uniformly liberal "mainstream media" of the Vietnam-Watergate era did:
Five years after The Passion of the the Christ conquered the multiplex, it might be instructive to recall the media coverage as Brent Bozell chronicled it in two columns. He offered tribute to Mel Gibson and a rebuke to godless Hollywood in the week before the movie came out:
The mass unveiling of Mel Gibson’s cinematic vision of "The Passion of the Christ" on 2,000 screens – a massive debut for a foreign-language film with subtitles -- has the entertainment elite a bit frightened. After all, how many decades have elapsed since Hollywood has been in any way associated with Christian orthodoxy?
The one who is not frightened is Gibson. He is a man who has made his own brave and generous sacrifice, putting tens of millions of dollars and his own film career on the line for a daring and controversial cultural event. He is a man who can sit in front of Diane Sawyer as she looks like she’s sucking on a lemon and honestly proclaim his humble Christian beliefs, to be a "fool for Christ" before the world.
On Friday, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday declared a feminist item on her resume: "I worked for Bella Abzug for one day." She was hired during an unsuccessful comeback attempt for the House in 1986. Hornaday was tapped to praise a photograph of Abzug by famous photographer Richard Avedon, now hanging in a D.C. exhibit of "Profiles in Power." Later in the short piece, she passionately lauded her very short-term boss:
This portrait reminds me of what a privilege I had in that baptism by ire....It's ironic but fitting that Bella's picture was included in a series about power; shortly after Avedon took it, she would lose her run for the U.S. Senate, and Jimmy Carter, who hovers nearby in the same series, would fire her from the Presidential Advisory Committee on Women for having the chutzpah to suggest that the economy and foreign policy were women's issues. But her power never derived from patriarchy or party, however skillfully she navigated those institutions. Rather, it emanated from her as a life force with a restless, ever more global impulse to connect with people -- men and women -- who shared her vision of equality, justice and sustainability.