Top 10 Film Industry Stories of 2006 #9: Al Gore turns PowerPoint presentation into hit

By Kim Hollis

December 27, 2006

I am the world. I am the children. I am the one to make a brighter day.

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He might have lost the election in 2000, but Al Gore has remained an important figure in the fight for conservation. In the months before the tide turned for the Republicans in 2006, Gore found himself in the public eye as his documentary An Inconvenient Truth became the third-highest grossing documentary in the United States to date. Some of the proceeds from the film have been earmarked for additional educational campagins about climate change.

Frankly, it's stunning that a glorified multimedia presentation was able to draw this many people into theaters. Originally, Gore was presenting the subject matter as a "slide show" that he exhibited in a number of venues around the world - in fact, at the time of the movie's release, he estimated that he had shown the presentation over 1,000 times. In the movie, the former Vice President goes over a number of pieces of scientific evidence pointing toward the reality of global warming. Included in the conversation are eloquent discussions of the politics, economics and potential consequences of global climate change. Along with the documentary, Gore also published a book by the same title as a companion piece. It's not just a rehash of the film, either, as it contains additional details and analysis on the topics touched upon in the movie.


Despite the bitter political atmosphere that currently exists in our nation today, An Inconvenient Truth is viewed as a bi-partisan piece with little spin. When the Associated Press contacted 100 top climate researchers to ask them about the legitimacy of the Vice President's points, all but 19 of them said that the science was correct.

After becoming a bit of a sensation at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, An Inconvenient Truth debuted on limited screens in New York City and Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend. It had a venue average of $91,447 - a record for a documentary. Before departing theaters, it tallied $23.1 million domestically. At the review compilation site, RottenTomatoes, it has 141 reviews counted. 131 of them are positive, while ten are rotten, leading to a fresh rating of 93%. The movie's hit status was officially confirmed when it was lampooned in a South Park episode titled Manbearpig.

Where does Gore go from here? First, he'll be looking for an Oscar nomination (which will put him only one behind his college roommate, Tommy Lee Jones). Then, there is speculation that he'll be back for another run at the presidency in 2008. With the boost he has received from his earnest work in the field of global climate change, Gore has an excellent chance at a continued high profile and an upward swing in popularity. Maybe he'll even guest star in another episode of Futurama.



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