Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg
USA 2016, 1h 36min.
From the viewpoint of disgraced Democratic ex-congressman Anthony Weiner, it probably seemed like a good idea. After a spectacular fall from grace, when he accidentally tweeted a photo of his erect penis to his thousands of twitter followers, the supposedly chastened Weiner decided to run for mayor of New York City in 2013.
Convinced of a political comeback, the charismatic Weiner gave full documentary access to his former chief of staff, Josh Kriegman and co-director Elyse Klingman. Weiner had yet another ace up his sleeve. Goading him on was the loyal wife and mother of his child, power broker Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s closest adviser in her current presidential campaign.
The first thirty minutes of Weiner finds the scrappy underdog gaining traction with wary New York voters who want to believe the candidate has given up sexting his female admirers. But then it all comes crashing down. New phone sex allegations arise well after Weiner’s original mea culpa. Any chance of redemption becomes a chaotic, gleeful media takedown of Weiner who quixotically decides to continue the race despite the toll on his marriage and the sheer impossibility of winning.