Last night WOW London's Tim Hancock and I went to the premiere of Michael Moore's new documentary Capitalism: A Love Story, thanks to ex-WOW lovely Liz Leister. Also in attendance was that pack of left-wing actors and celebrities who love to put their faces behind a movie with a message – Hollywood's Liberati.
Spotted in the crowd were Leonardo DiCaprio (of course), Winona Ryder (bag-lady chic in a floppy velvet hat), Larry King (looking fly in a hoodie), The Practice's Camryn Manheim chatting to the fat bald guy that Charlotte married in Sex & The City, Lisa Edelstein, Roseanne Barr, Gary Shandling (gave Liz a stick of gum), Hung's Jane Adams, American Beauty's Thora Birch (did you know her parents met as hardcore actors on the set of Deep Throat?), super agent Ari Emanuel, Queer As Folk's Hal Sparks, Olivia Wilde, and last but not least, Phoebe Price and her mother Flora (in matching feather headpieces).
The movie is already being hailed as Moore's best to date by Time magazine. It certainly has all the elements we have by now come to expect from a Moore doc. There's the little people stories that horrify you with their injustice; the reels and reels of brilliant archival footage; the humor. But the flip side of the coin is that these familiar beats feel a lot like rehashes of scenes that worked to much better effect in both Fahrenheit 911 and Sicko. Remember the scene in France from Sicko that made you want to give up your life in the US and move there? It's pretty much in this movie too. Remember the scene in Fahrenheit with George Bush clapping like a monkey while the country decayed around him? Yep, that's here too. By the time Moore comes out with his trusty megaphone, rallying outside blue chip offices demanding the CEO return the people's stolen money, I was ready for something new.
The irony of watching a movie critiquing capitalism, and then mingling with Hollywood's hoi polloi amidst discussion of how much money the film hoped to rake in, was not lost on me. The movie might not undermine capitalistic society as we know it, but it most likely will make you pause and think for a minute about your position within it.