Gore wins cov­eted Os­car nod

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Christina Bellantoni

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore on Jan. 23 scored a key nom­i­na­tion with­out even trav­el­ing to Iowa or New Hamp­shire, and he won’t need to kiss any ba­bies to win the big­ger prize.

The Demo­crat’s film on global warm­ing, “An In­con­ve­nient Truth,” was nom­i­nated for an Academy Award for Best Doc­u­men­tary Fea­ture. The Os­car win­ners will be an­nounced Feb. 25.

Mr.Gore­has­said­he­do­es­not­plan to run for pres­i­dent again in 2008, but he has not en­tirely ruled it out. In his film, which also got a Best Orig­i­nal Song nom­i­na­tion for “I Need to Wake Up” by Melissa Etheridge, he ar­gues that cli­mate changeis­the­biggest­prob­lem­fac­ing the planet.

Mr. Gore, the 2000 pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, said he was “thrilled” by the Os­car nom­i­na­tion.

“This film proves that movies re­ally can make a dif­fer­ence,” Mr. Gore said in an e-mail, prais­ing the crew. He said “An In­con­ve­nient Truth” has “brought aware­ness of the cli­mate cri­sis to peo­ple in the Unit­edS­tate­san­dallover­the­world.”

The nom­i­na­tion tech­ni­cally is for pro­duc­ers Lawrence Ben­der and Lau­rie David, and di­rec­tor Davis Guggen­heim. But Mr. Gore is the ubiq­ui­tous on-screen nar­ra­tor for the film, the third high­est-gross­ing doc­u­men­tary in U.S. his­tory with $24 mil­lion in ticket sales. The film hase­l­e­vat­ed­glob­al­warmin­gas­apo­lit­i­cal is­sue, and Mr. Gore is col­lect­ing post­cards from vot­ers to de­liver to con­gres­sional lead­ers in the next few months.

Sen. Barack Obama, a pres­i­den- tial can­di­date, said Mr. Gore de­serves the award.

“Itis­no­tonlyanout­stand­ing­film, but it has cre­ated a gen­uine cul­tural shift­in­how­peo­ple­think­aboutwhat I be­lieve to be one of the more im­por­tant is­sues of our time,” said the Illi­nois Demo­crat, who has co-au­thoredamea­sureto“dras­ti­cally”re­duce green­house gas emis­sions.

“Clearly this movie has had a tremen­dous im­pact in ed­u­cat­ing mil­lions of ad­di­tional peo­ple,” said Gene Karpin­ski, pres­i­dent of the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers Ed­u­ca­tion Fund.

Other con­gres­sional lead­ers agreed Mr. Gore’s film spurred change on Capi­tol Hill.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he has sig­nif­i­cantly added to the dis­cus­sion and pro­vided a lead­er­ship level all around the globe that has been very im­pres­sive,” said Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat.

Sen. Bar­bara Boxer, a Cal­i­for­nia Democratwho­plan­sex­ten­sive­hear­ings on global warm­ing, learned of the nom­i­na­tion from a Wash­ing­ton Times re­porter.

“How ex­cit­ing,” said the chair- manoftheSe­nateCom­mit­teeonEn­vi­ron­men­tandPublicWorks,adding that she has per­son­ally asked Mr. Gore to tes­tify be­fore her panel and that “he’s think­ing about it.”

The House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee also has in­vited Mr. Gore to ap­pear at a cli­mate change hear­ing.

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dateSen.SamBrown­back­ofKansas had­not­seen­the­film,buthe­saidthe Os­car nom­i­na­tion “will be use­ful in the dis­cus­sion that we’re go­ing to have here on global cli­mate is­sues.”

Al­though Mr. Gore’s name won’t be en­graved on the Os­car if the film wins, he def­i­nitely will be on the red car­pet, aides said.

“An In­con­ve­nient Truth,” adapted from slide-show pre­sen­ta­tions he has been mak­ing world­wide for the past sev­eral years, also is a best-sell­ing book.

Also nom­i­nated in the doc­u­men­tarycat­e­go­r­yare“De­liv­erUsFrom Evil,” about a Catholic priest who sex­u­ally abused chil­dren, “Je­sus Camp,” about evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tians, and two films about the Iraq war, “Iraq in Frag­ments” and “My Coun­try, My Coun­try.”

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Call him Os­car-nom­i­nated for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore

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