Sorkin directing tabloid political tale of John Edwards
Aaron Sorkin is to make his directorial début on a film which he will adapt from the book The Politician by Andrew Young, a book that looks at Edwards run for Presidency of America and the subsequent private life reveal that led to the end of his attempt.
Although the story does try to tell us that there's more to the story than we would first think, to me it reeks of a mix of the big problems of politics, and shows that tabloid reporting and “scandal” can not only bring politicians down but also make other people a lot of money and now even become films.
Do we really need tabloid films as well as tabloid journalism? I really hope that there is way more to the book The Politician (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) than suggests from the front page blurb which reads:
”An insider's account of John Edwards's pursuit of the Presidency and the scandal that brought him down”
While I'm not up with the events myself, the articles and comments I've looked over, some of which are on the Deadline Hollywood Daily site as well as from Wikipedia and other sources, would suggest that his Presidential run was over before the scandal was dug up and made public by the papers.
Hopefully the film will have a lot to say about the man and the things he did rather than focus on the scandal itself, which would just be tabloid film-making taking from tabloid writing and journalism.
Of course there's something else that this film could do, and indeed that the book could already do for I haven't actually read it, they could be looking at how such scandals can result in the ruining of potentially great politicians and leaders.
Now I know that it sounds terrible what John Edwards did and how these events played out, in his private life he had an affair and was father to a child, but he kept that secret and stayed with his wife. She developed breast cancer and while journalists kept asking the politician about his affair, with his politics and intentions for the entire country seemingly far less important than this private life story, he denied it. Eventually though he admitted the events and that apparently led to the end of his career.
You know every politician has something dark and even wrong in his life that can be dug up and made headline news, in fact we all do, and while that can't be excused, there is the question of whether that does make them a bad politician or not. People should realise by now that all politicians lie, it's part of their job, they all bend the truth and they all manoeuvre events for their own ends. Just look back at the previous Presidents of America and see for yourself. Did their private lives make them bad politicians? In some cases perhaps, but some have been good politicians and still had events in their private lives that could have, and did, cause their downfall.
I'm not defending what happened in their private lives, but I am saying that it may not be a reflection on their ability as a politician, and a film about the private life scandal such as this seems as tabloid as the newspapers that seek out these “shocking revelations” to discredit people who are famous or in power.
Couldn't we have a film that looks to something more intelligent than tabloid scandals of the past? Or are we going to start seeing more films like this, perhaps one about Clinton's affair for example?
Apparently Aaron Sorkin is going to turn it into some Shakespearean tale:
”This is a first hand account of an extraordinary story filled with motivations, decisions and consequences that would have lit Shakespeare up...There is much more to Andrew's book than what has been reported and I am grateful that he's trusting me with it.”
Well I hope so otherwise I can't see anything interesting in this film, and if it doesn't have wider, more important issues to it, how is it going to play outside of America?