A documentary portrait of embattled NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner
This fly-on-the-wall political doc follows Anthony Weiner on the campaign trail in 2013 to become mayor of New York. Weiner is staging a political comeback following a sexting scandal that ended his career in Congress. After getting a few unavoidable boner headlines out of the way, ‘Weiner’ settles into intimate portrait mode. The naturally flamboyant Weiner, accompanied by his wife Huma Abedin (a powerful advisor to Hillary Clinton), is leading in the polls, but not everything goes to plan.
Political junkies might know what happens next: more allegations of inappropriate contact, leaked photos and the public disclosure of Weiner’s regrettable online alias ‘Carlos Danger’. In the documentary’s riveting second stretch, during a sweltering summer, we see a marriage reduced to resentful stares and Weiner adding to his woes with inept TV appearances.
Co-directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg stay out of their subject’s way and let the train wreck unfold with a minimum of commentary. When Kriegman is heard at a low point asking ‘Why did you let me film this?’ you’re glad the question is asked. But there’s no need for an answer: the narcissism is all up there on screen.