May 26, 2018

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Seven Funny, Fawning Reviews of HBO’s ‘The Final Year.’

The Guardian tries oh, so hard to rally to Team Obama’s side in its review. But the film, as the critic begrudgingly admits, can’t ignore reality.

The Final Year uneasily concedes the possibility that Obama was on the back foot on Syria and may have been outsmarted by Putin: a constant, shrill complaint from the right.

Spoiler alert: The Right was right.

And there’s the other unintentional comedy coming from the film. The movie trumpets Obama’s trio of foreign relationship coups – the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran Deal and warmer relations with Cuba.

President Trump torpedoed the first two, and the third is fading. A sharper documentary might have dug deeper into Obama’s unwillingness to work with Congress rather than flexing his executive power pen.

Two can play at that game, apparently.

Meanwhile, film critics mourned the end of the Obama era via their “Final Year” reviews. The New York Times summons our lust for superhero movies in its closing comments about the film.

“The Final Year” may make viewers miss President Obama’s people. Unlike Marvel or DC superheroes in the movies, they won’t be back any time soon.

Read the whole thing — Christian is milking the soft power dividend of schadenfreude for all it’s worth here.

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