NYT: Leonardo DiCaprio Trying to Save the World, But No One's Listening

August 17th, 2007 2:13 PM

Reliably liberal New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis lauded activist-actor Leonardo DiCaprio's "The 11th Hour," the latest documentary of environmental apocalypse.

"To judge from all the gas-guzzlers still fouling the air and the plastic bottles clogging the dumps, it appears that the news that we are killing ourselves and the world with our greed and garbage hasn't sunk in. That's one reason 'The 11th Hour,' an unnerving, surprisingly affecting documentary about our environmental calamity, is such essential viewing. It may not change your life, but it may inspire you to recycle that old slogan-button your folks pinned on their dashikis back in the day: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

No word on when Dargis will quit her job as a New York Times movie critic to go save the world. Perhaps because Dargis seems to think she and the rest of us are living in a grim futuristic-movie version of dystopia already.

"If your head isn't lodged in the sand, much of what's said in the movie will be agonizing and familiar. Gasping children, disappearing animals, gushing oil, billowing smoke, dying lakes, emptying forests, warming weather -- the list of ills is numbingly familiar. In the movie's eye-catching opener, the directors riffle through a veritable catalog of timely snapshots, some obvious (a smoggy skyline), others less so (a human fetus)."

Incidentally, Dargis's same-page review of the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" remake starring Nicole Kidman noted right at the top that the movie "might have been an accidental camp classic if its politics weren't so abhorrent…."

Dargis' political views are so obvious and so reliable that "abhorrent" may just qualify as a thumbs-up for conservative science fiction fans (although at this writing, Rotten Tomatoes' reviewer consensus on "The Invasion" stands at a very poor 20% approval).