Film by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg takes #1 spot, approaches $600,000 total
Anthony Weiner may have finished last in his 2013 bid to become mayor of New York, but at least he's tops at the box office.
Weiner, the documentary about the seven-term Congressman from New York, earned honors as the most popular nonfiction film at the box office over the weekend, according to audience measurement firm Rentrak.
The film directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, which won the top award for a US documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, has made almost $600,000 in three weeks of theatrical release, per Rentrak.
The documentary takes an almost excruciatingly intimate look at Weiner's attempt at political rehabilitation after he was forced to resign from Congress in a sexting scandal. Asking New York City to give him another chance, Weiner at first gained traction in his mayoral campaign, but was done in by new revelations of continuing online flirtations, some of them that he engaged in using the risible alias "Carlos Danger."
Kriegman and Steinberg were invited to follow the candidate throughout his campaign, ultimately capturing some exceedingly awkward moments, including the bafflement of Weiner's staff at his inability to control his libido.
Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, is an almost-expressionless, Sphinx-like figure in the film, unwilling or unable to explain why she would stick by her husband through successive public humiliations. She's like a clothesline for his dirty laundry.
Abedin is a longtime close aide to Hillary Clinton and we learn in the film that Hillary considers her much like a second daughter. Certainly the two women have a lot in common when it comes to enduring libidinous spouses. Bill Clinton acted on his extramarital desires but survived politically; Weiner's dalliances amounted to mere cyber-fantasies, yet they cost him his political career, if not his marriage.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.