Oct. 26, 2004
Not just another
political biopic, Lets Get Frank is a fascinating
portrait of an era, as well as of a unique public servant. Barney Frank, the
first openly gay member of Congress, had the
chutzpah to invite picmaker Bart Everly to follow him during and after the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and the results are a time-capsule gem that says plenty about where weve been,
and where we might be going. Pic explains much of how democracy does and doesnt work, and should be mandatory viewing on U.S. stations but probably wont show up on Sinclair outlets anytime soon.
The Massachusetts congressman, embroiled in a sex scandal 10 years earlier, became a point man for the Democrats side of the witch hunt. Intercutting
Franks story with highlights of the House Judiciary hearings, the film shows how a sharp tongue and common sense can puncture even the most venal political machine.
Perversely, antagonists like committee leader Henry Hyde and toady Bob Barr, who are frequently disarmed by Franks humor, look almost statesmenlike compared with the creatures
of power emboldened by Clintons near-demise. Frank narrates, adding to the sense of irreverence.