Fahrenheit 11/9

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fahrenheit 11/9
Donald Trump golfing is transposed on the White House lawn with the White House having an eruption of flame from its roof.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Moore
Produced by
  • Michael Moore
  • Jeff Gibbs
  • Carl Deal
  • Meghan O'Hara
Written byMichael Moore
Narrated byMichael Moore
Cinematography
  • Luke Geissbühler
  • Jayme Roy
Edited by
  • Doug Abel
  • Pablo Proenza
Production
company
Midwestern Films
Distributed byBriarcliff Entertainment
Release date
  • September 6, 2018 (2018-09-06) (TIFF)
  • September 21, 2018 (2018-09-21) (United States)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4–5 million[2]
Box office$6.7 million[3]

Fahrenheit 11/9 is a 2018 American political documentary by filmmaker Michael Moore about the 2016 United States presidential election and presidency of Donald Trump. The film had its world premiere on September 6, 2018, at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the United States on September 21, 2018, by Briarcliff Entertainment.

It grossed $6.7 million worldwide, one of the lowest totals of Moore's career. It received mostly positive reviews, with review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes saying it "[preaches] to a specific choir, but for anyone who's enjoyed Moore's filmography [it is] another worthy chapter".[4]

The film received a nomination for Best Documentary Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. It also received four nominations at the 39th Golden Raspberry Awards and won three, including worst actor for Donald Trump.

Synopsis[edit]

The distributor describes the documentary as "a provocative and comedic look at the times in which we live", referring to the 2016 United States presidential election and the subsequent presidency of Donald Trump. The documentary also explores two questions: How the US progressed to the Trump presidency and how to "get out" of the era of the Trump administration.[5][6]

Apart from the Trump Administration, the documentary delves into some events that Moore believes are connected to or inspired by Trump, such as the 2014 Flint water crisis orchestrated by an appointee of Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder who changed the source from Lake Huron to the Flint River, leading to unacceptable levels of lead in the water, and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, which resulted in the March for Our Lives protest across the United States, calling for gun control measures and criticizing politicians who receive campaign donations from the National Rifle Association. He also criticizes Barack Obama for his visit to Flint for not living up to the expectations of the people of Flint who expected to receive federal help after the visit.

Moore also compares Trump's rise to power to that of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, parallels the Reichstag fire with the September 11 attacks, compares Hitler's hate speeches against different ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations to some of Trump's comments, and showcases recent instances of unprovoked racial violence allegedly inspired by Trump. He concludes that the United States Constitution no longer protects the people from the wealthy and powerful, and the American Dream is now nothing more than a mere dream. He cites his previous documentaries Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine, and Capitalism: A Love Story which also highlighted unpunished social and political injustices. He says that after the likes of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, the country needed to see a president like Trump in order to wake up to the reality of what he believes the United States of America has truly become: a country not worth saving, but starting anew.

Title[edit]

The film's title relies on U.S. date notation to refer to November 9, when Trump's 2016 presidential win was announced (the election took place the day prior). The title simultaneously serves as a callback to Moore's 2004 political documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which refers to the date of the September 11 attacks in the United States.[5] Both of Moore's documentary titles are an allusion to the 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.[7]

Production[edit]

Director Michael Moore partnered with producers Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein in May 2017 to produce and distribute Fahrenheit 11/9.[8] The Weinsteins planned to fund $2 million out of $6 million in a documentary deal.[9] The Weinsteins did not provide the funding, and the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations emerged in the following October. As a result, Moore laid off the crew and shut down development of the documentary.[2] Before returning to Fahrenheit 11/9, Moore focused on putting on a Broadway show, The Terms of My Surrender, which ran for 12 weeks.[10]

Production of the documentary eventually resumed with between $4 million and $5 million in private funding. As part of filming, Moore made a clandestine visit to the Florida resort Mar-a-Lago owned by Donald Trump and mingled at the resort for 15 minutes before being escorted out by security.[2]

Release[edit]

Fahrenheit 11/9 had its world premiere on September 6, 2018, at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.[11] Moore also screened Fahrenheit 11/9 in his hometown of Flint, Michigan on September 10.[12]

Briarcliff Entertainment initially considered releasing the documentary in July 2018. It used a theatrical release date optimization program and decided on September 21; Deadline Hollywood reported, "[It] will arguably be one of the only fresh wide choices out there for sophisticated adults, and will launch six weeks before the November 6 [US] mid-term elections."[13]

Briarcliff released the documentary in 1,719 theaters in the United States and Canada on September 21, 2018, the widest-ever for a Moore film. It was released alongside Life Itself, The House With a Clock in Its Walls, and Assassination Nation.[13] Based on early tracking, Fahrenheit 11/9 was initially expected to gross $4–10 million in its opening weekend in the United States and Canada. Variety said the opening-weekend gross "won't come close to trumping" Fahrenheit 9/11, which grossed $23.9 million at 868 theaters in the United States and Canada.[14][15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an overall positive score of 82%, including an average 4.5 out of 5 stars.[16] After making just $1.1 million on its first day, weekend projections were lowered to $3 million. The film went on to debut to just $3.1 million[17], finishing eighth with a per-theater average of $1,804. Deadline Hollywood noted the film should have begun a limited run in larger cities (such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Chicago, where it ended up performing best) and built up positive word-of-mouth, instead of going wide to over 1,000 theaters in its opening weekend.[16] It fell 63% in its second weekend to $1.1 million, finishing 12th. By the end of its theatrical run the film grossed $6.4 million domestically, one of the lowest totals of Moore's career, and the worst of any of his films that received a wide release.[18] [19]

Fahrenheit 11/9 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 18, 2018.[20]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

When Fahrenheit 11/9 premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Hollywood Reporter said that the critical response was "positive overall".[21] The Associated Press reported, "Film critics in Toronto largely hailed it as Moore's most vital film in years ... though others wondered if his Hitler rhetoric wasn't too extreme. More conservative reaction from outside the left-leaning movie world was, as expected, less enthusiastic."[22] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes assigned the film an approval rating of 81%, based on 170 reviews assessed as positive or negative; the average rating among the reviews is 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fahrenheit 11/9 finds Michael Moore in fine fighting form, delivering a political call to action that ranks among his most effective works."[23] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 69 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[24]

Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com gave the film three out of four stars, saying that "Fahrenheit 11/9 is ultimately Moore's best film in years because its message is really simple and nonpartisan: get mad about something and do something about it" and added, "With a new issue being debated every day, is it any wonder that Fahrenheit 11/9 has an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach? After all, Moore argues, rather convincingly, that what matters is that we care about something."[25] Owen Gleiberman, reviewing for Variety, said Moore explored more issues than criticizing Trump, writing: "[Moore] makes the point that Donald Trump has always committed corruptions and outrages in plain sight. It's not that we don't see them; it's that he has a gift for getting people not to mind them" and that "Fahrenheit 11/9 would be better if it didn't romanticize the new wave of progressive action (which, incidentally, I believe in) as if it were the second coming. Yet the movie, in its way, summons something ominous and powerful. It's not a screed – it's a warning. It says, quite wisely: Take action now, or you may no longer have the opportunity to do so."[26]

The Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young found that the documentary had "a pretty unfocused target" with going beyond Trump and said, "The multiple targets and multiple threads which weave in and out of Fahrenheit 11/9 make it feel jumpy at times and less focused than Moore's docs ... Nonetheless, there is much food for thought in the film, shot with the director's characteristic passion, flair, wicked sense of humor and willingness to push the envelope."[27]

In The Wall Street Journal John Anderson wrote, "Almost the entire movie is lifted from other sources, and then edited in a way that makes his enemies (do they know they’re his enemies?) look as foolish as possible. ... Mr. Moore can’t help himself, he uses footage of Adolf Hitler lip-syncing a Trump speech. Much has been made of Mr. Trump’s questionable maturity. He has a kindred spirit in Michael Moore."[28]

Accolades[edit]

Award Ceremony date Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Awards February 23, 2019 Worst Actor Donald Trump (also for Death of a Nation) Won
Worst Screen Combo Donald Trump and "His Self Perpetuating Pettiness" (also for Death of a Nation) Won
Worst Supporting Actress Kellyanne Conway Won
Melania Trump Nominated
Writers Guild of America[29] February 17, 2019 Best Documentary Screenplay Michael Moore Nominated


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fahrenheit 11/9". tiff.net. Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Kilday, Gregg (September 5, 2018). "Michael Moore Plays His Trump Card: A New Movie, Modern Fascism and a 2020 Prediction". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)". The Numbers. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Giles, Jeff (September 20, 2018). "The House with a Clock in Its Walls Ticks Along Tolerably". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kilday, Gregg (August 15, 2018). "Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 11/9' Poster Takes Aim at 'Tyrant' Trump". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Wheeler, Emily (September 3, 2018). "Fahrenheit 11/9 Trailer". Film Inquiry. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  7. ^ France, Lisa Respers (May 17, 2017). "Michael Moore's surprise Trump doc: What we know". cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Nolfi, Joey (May 16, 2017). "Michael Moore promises secret film will end Trump presidency". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (November 30, 2017). "Battle Brewing Between Michael Moore, Harvey & Bob Weinstein Over Donald Trump-Themed 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Perez, Lexy; Kilkenny, Katie (June 28, 2018). "Michael Moore Reveals Release Date for His Anti-Trump Doc". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Hipes, Patrick (August 9, 2018). "Toronto Sets 'Fahrenheit 11/9', 'Predator' And 'Halloween' World Premieres In Sidebar Slates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  12. ^ Hinds, Julie (September 5, 2018). "Michael Moore bringing 'Fahrenheit 11/9' sneak peek to Flint hometown". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  13. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 30, 2018). "How Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 11/9' Landed Its Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  14. ^ McNary, Dave (September 4, 2018). "Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 11/9' Won't Come Close to Trumping 'Fahrenheit 9/11's' Debut". Variety. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (September 18, 2018). "Can 'House With a Clock in Its Walls' Become the Fall's First Family Box Office Hit?". TheWrap. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  16. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 23, 2018). "'The House With A Clock In Its Walls' Sounding Near $27M Alarm; Counterprogramming Still In Deep Sleep". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  17. ^ "'Fahrenheit 11/9': Why Michael Moore's Trump Doc Bombed". September 24, 2018.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 30, 2018). "'Night School' Top Of The Weekend's Box Office Class With $28M; Best Opening For A Comedy So Far This Year". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "Michael Moore Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Galbraith IV, Stuart (January 2, 2019). "Fahrenheit 11/9 (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Kilkenny, Katie; Perez, Lexy (September 7, 2018). "'Fahrenheit 11/9': What the Critics Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Coyle, Jake (September 8, 2018). "In Trump's rise, Michael Moore sees the hallmarks of Hitler". apnews.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  23. ^ "Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  24. ^ "Fahrenheit 11/9 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  25. ^ Tallerico, Brian (September 7, 2018). "Fahrenheit 11/9 Movie Review & Film Summary (2018) | Roger Ebert". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  26. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (September 6, 2018). "Toronto Film Review: Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  27. ^ Young, Deborah (September 6, 2018). "'Fahrenheit 11/9': Film Review | TIFF 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  28. ^ Anderson, John (September 20, 2018). "'Fahrenheit 11/9' Review: Hot and Bothersome". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  29. ^ McNary, Dave (February 17, 2019). "WGA Awards 2019 Winners: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2019.

External links[edit]