Jump Aboard The Michael Moore Bandwagon, Err, Gondola

Michael Moore tops my list of favorite documentary filmmakers I wouldn’t want to snog but would totally marry. I love a juicy oversimplification applied by the left, and nobody does it like Moore. First he took on the ailing auto industry in “Roger & Me,” then violence in “Bowling for Columbine,” then the reaction to September 11th in “Fahrenheit 9/11,” then the healthcare industry in “Sicko.” Remember when Moore provoked Charlton Heston to slam a door in his face (on tape!) for a poignant ending to “Bowling for Columbine”? Sigh.

After the jump, see what industry insiders are saying about Moore’s latest lament, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in late August, plays at the New York Film Festival next week, and opens in theaters on October 2nd. Leslie Felperin of Variety loved it:

“By returning to his roots, professional gadfly Michael Moore turns in one of his best films with ‘Capitalism: A Love Story.’ Its target is less capitalism qua capitalism than the banking industry, which Moore skewers ruthlessly, explaining last year’s economic meltdown in terms a sixth-grader could understand.” [Variety]

Shocker. Brian Sullivan of Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” thought it was wildly hypocritical:

“Michael Moore’s brand-new movie, premiering yesterday, it is a country clear attack on the American economic system of capitalism. Ironically, Moore is bashing the same capitalistic system that helped make his movies more than $170 million and make him a very wealthy guy. Two years ago, his ‘Sicko’ film pushed health care reform. Should our free markets be worried they’re next?” [Fox News]

Deborah Young of Hollywood Reporter is in the pro camp:

“Moore theatrically encircles New York banks with crime scene tape…This is a typical Moore oeuvre: funny, often over the top and of dubious documentation, but with strongly made points that leave viewers much to ponder and debate after they walk out of the theater.” [Hollywood Reporter]

Xan Brooks of the Guardian had mixed feelings:

“Moore jabs his finger at everyone from Reagan to Bush Jr, Hank Paulson to Alan Greenspan. He drags the viewer through a thicket of insurance scams, sub-prime bubbles and derivative trading so wilfully obfuscatory that even the experts can’t explain how it works. The big villain, of course, is capitalism itself, which the film paints as a wily old philanderer intent on lining the pockets of the few at the expense of the many.” [Guardian]

Richard Corliss of Fortune worries that the film doesn’t give much in the way of answers:

“Surely what spun out of control because of government indulgence and indolence needs to be repaired by government regulation and ingenuity. Squatting in your repossessed home won’t get the trillions back. In ‘Capitalism: A Love Story,’ Moore has cogently and passionately diagnosed the disease. But for a cure, instead of emergency surgery, he prescribes Happy Meals.” [Fortune]

Guess we’ll have to wait until October 2 to see what we think.