Al Gore finally won an election, as “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Oscar for documentary feature.
The award actually went to director Davis Guggenheim and producers Lawrence Bender, Laurie David and Scott Burns. But there was no doubt that it was Gore who was being honored for bringing worldwide attention to the issue of global warming and the former VP joined the quartet on stage for the acceptance.
“I made this movie for my children,” Guggenheim said in his acceptance speech. “We all did. And we did so because we were move to act by this man… all of us were inspired by his fight for 30 years to tell his truth to all of us.”
Guggenheim handed the Oscar to Gore, who thanked the “Truth” team, Paramount Vantage, the Academy and his family. He then evoked a big laugh by saying, “My fellow Americans” before turning serious in a 15-second speech.
“People all over the world – we need to solve the climate crisis,” Gore said. “It’s not a political issue. It’s a moral issue. We have everything that we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That’s a renewable resource. Let’s renew it.”
Gore did his best to quell speculation about using the show to announce a run for the presidency. Earlier in the evening, Gore had joined Leonardo DiCaprio on stage to announce that AMPAS’ green initiative for the Oscar ceremonies and the thesp has pressed him about announcing his future plans.
Gore then took his turn at the mike and evoked a big laugh by starting, “My fellow Americans” before immediately being drowned out by the orchestra.
The docu also won for Melissa Etheridge’s original song, “I Need to Wake Up,” which Gore had asked the singer to write after she had seen his slide show. While she performed the song Sunday, a screen showed environment-saving tips from “Truth.”
“I have to thank Al Gore for inspiring us, inspiring me, showing that caring about the earth is not Republican or Democrat,” Etheridge said in her acceptance speech. “It’s not red or blue, we are all green.”
Kudos capped an impressive first year for Vantage under the leadership of prexy John Lesher and his team, which was recently expanded to include co-prexy Nick Meyer. Vantage’s first acquisition after Lesher took over was “Truth,” which he snapped up at Sundance 2006.
“Truth” went on to gross $24 million domestically, the third highest for a docu, and another $21 million overseas. For the Oscar, it topped “Deliver Us From Evil,” “Iraq in Fragments,” “Jesus Camp” and “My Country, My Country.”
Jerry Seinfeld, the subject of a docu five years ago, made the award announcement and noted, “These are five incredibly depressing movies.”