Former VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore's crusade to raise awareness of global warming gets a useful new platform in "An Inconvenient Truth." Davis Guggenheim's docu is a straightforward record of the lecture Gore has toured for years, juiced by elaborate graphics. Pic may prove an awkward fit for theatrical distribution.

Former VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore’s crusade to raise awareness of global warming gets a useful new platform in “An Inconvenient Truth.” Davis Guggenheim’s docu is a straightforward record of the lecture Gore has toured for years, juiced by elaborate graphics. An excellent educational tool, pic may prove an awkward fit for theatrical distribution. Exposure through academic/activist channels and perhaps self-distributed, one-night-stand bookings (a la Warren Miller’s sports films) could work best.

Defining how global warming works on the atmosphere and dramatically illustrating its effects with before-and-after photos of drastically shrunken glaciers, et al., Gore’s data is concise and accessible, greatly aided by a state-of-the-art slide show involving computerized charts, photos, archival footage, even cartoons. Point is that pollution has wrought more drastic changes in a few decades than Earth has seen since the last Ice Age, with truly dire consequences just years ahead. Not a naturally ingratiating speaker, and one whose frequent stabs at humor here fall flat, Gore nonetheless builds a persuasive case for immediate action. Brief sequences of him as a lonely eco-warrior out on the road strike a contrived note, however. Tech aspects are first-rate.

An Inconvenient Truth

Production

A Participant Prods. production. Produced by Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Z. Burns. Executive producers, Jeff Skoll, Davis Guggenheim. Co-producer, Lesley Chilcott. Directed by Davis Guggenheim.

Crew

Camera (color), Bob Richman, Guggenheim; editors, Jay Cassidy, Dan Swietlik; music, Michael Brook. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 25, 2006. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Al Gore.
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