A STRANGE LOVE AFFAIR WITH EGO
(Ester Gould, Netherlands). 91 minutes. Rating: NN Pitched somewhere between documentary and essay film, this is Ester Gould’s attempt to understand her spirited, outgoing older sister Rowan through an investigation of confidence and narcissism.
Gould intercuts an elliptical memoir of her childhood with interviews with a behavioural psychologist and a Los Angeles entrepreneur, but there’s precious little insight on offer. It just feels like a therapy exercise that’s escaped into the public arena. NW Apr 28, 9:45 pm, TIFF 4; Apr 29, 3:15 pm, Scotiabank 3; May 7, 4:30 pm, Scotiabank 7
(Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, U. S.). 100 minutes. Rating: NNNN When he was, er, exposed as an inveterate sexter in 2011, married New York Congressional representative Anthony Weiner was forced to resign. Then he surprised everyone by deciding to run for New York City mayor in 2013, and allowed Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg to film the campaign in his office and his private residence. Turns out he continued to sext and was exposed yet again.
This is a terrific portrait of a man driven by ego – precisely the reason he’d take the risk of being the subject of a documentary. But even more fascinating is his wife, Hilary Clinton adviser Huma Abedin, who à la Clinton – and TV’s The Good Wife – stands by her man.
The real coup here is that, despite the fact that Weiner is plainly addicted to power, the doc occasionally makes him sympathetic, especially when one of his sextees tries to exploit the situation. SGC Apr 29, 3:30 pm, Isabel Bader; Apr 30, 1 pm, Bloor Hot Docs; May 6, 6:30 pm, Bloor Hot Docs