Review: Political career brought to a halt in ‘Weiner’

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

A political campaign — and a political career — goes up in flames in “Weiner,” Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s deeply compelling documentary about disgraced New York politician Anthony Weiner.

Weiner is the former Congressman who resigned after his 2011 sexting scandal made national news and turned him into a media punchline. “Weiner” catches up with him as he mounts a 2013 run for mayor of New York City, which is derailed when another sexting scandal comes to light.

Kriegman and Steinberg are on board with Weiner throughout the campaign as he tries to rehab his image. As another wave of accusations hit — this time involving a phone relationship with a young woman named Sydney Leathers where he used the alias “Carlos Danger” — Weiner, and his campaign, melt down like Chernobyl.

“Weiner” is a thorough examination of modern politics, the 24-hour news cycle and the grind of the campaign trail. It provides insight into Weiner the political figure, but has a tougher time getting to Weiner the man, perhaps because he’s unwilling to open himself up on camera. Yet his narcissism is apparent; he rewatches footage of his disastrous media appearances like athletes watch game footage, which tells you plenty about his character.

It’s also an interesting look at marriage inside the world of politics. Weiner’s wife is Huma Abedin, the longtime aide of Hillary Clinton. And while she supports her man, she always has one eye on her own political career. “Weiner” shows that even behind closed doors, the spin never stops.

agraham@detroitnews.com

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Twitter: @grahamorama

‘Weiner’

GRADE: B

Rated R for language and some sexual material

Running time: 96 minutes