Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (2010)
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Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 4
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Average Rating: 3.9/5
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This documentary feature takes an in-depth look at the rapid rise and dramatic fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Nicknamed "The Sheriff of Wall Street," when he was NY's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer prosecuted crimes by America's largest financial institutions and some of the most powerful executives in the country. After his election as Governor, with the largest margin in the state's history, many believed Spitzer was on his way to becoming the nation's first Jewish President. Then,
Nov 5, 2010 Limited
Jan 25, 2011
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site
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Gibney doesn't have anything more than tantalizing clues and a huge amount of circumstantial evidence, but he doesn't need much more than that to indict Wall Street itself.
As Gibney demonstrates in Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, plenty of politicians remained in office amid similar revelations.
It's the coolness of Gibney's account of the possibly systematic sabotaging of Spitzer's career, perpetrated by a strangely camera-friendly cast of enemies-cum-conspirators, that makes it such transfixing viewing.
"Client 9" is made with skill and intelligence, but I kept wanting to hear another story; one that I hadn't heard before.
You want tears? You want convulsive sobs, weepy remorse, pleadings for forgiveness? Well, look elsewhere, because Eliot Spitzer isn't going to give them to you.
It leaves the unmistakable impression that there's more to this iteration of a story that, animated by hubris, lust, self-deception and love of power, is sure to play out again.
Client-9 ... is a fascinating, if occasionally fawning, character study of the man who would be king.
Featuring interviews with the man himself, his enemies and one of the hookers, this isn't just a fascinating yarn but a, cough, penetrating character study.
Client 9 probably won't make you like Elliot Spitzer, but it will damn sure make you respect him.
Alex Gibney has a knack for telling great stories in a lucid fashion, and this story's a good 'un.
A sharp and very American probe into payback that puts forward a strong, if not entirely watertight, case.
Interviews with Spitzer, those exclusive madams and vengeful Republicans are woven into a compulsively fascinating probe of power and its dark side.
As a lens into the microcosm of politics, it's as depressing as it is enlightening, demonstrating how truly we have become a country by the corporations, of the corporations and for the corporations.
So was Spitzer a closet danger junkie, a stranger sex addict, victim of a stern tycoon dad 'who foreclosed me in monopoly,' or done in by an adolescent omnipotence that enormous power and wealth can bring. A shrink's two cents would have been helpful.
Directed by Alex Gibney, 'Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer' goes into the heart of Manhattan and New York State politics...
I have no problem with Gibney's doc, except all of it is common knowledge ... .
The movie is perfectly paced, clocking in a few minutes short of two hours, and holds your interest with its captivating subject matter. The musical selections and the aerial shots of Times Square add to the entertainment value of this slick production.
Client 9 is a compelling, well-researched documentary that reaches below the surface of what we thought we knew about Eliot Spitzer.
Much better are the interviews Gibney conducts with the big players, including Spitzer himself. Although he never apologizes for his aggressive style, Spitzer comes across as relatively subdued and doesn't make excuses for his personal behavior.
This film raises a lot more questions than it answers, but it is a good place to start looking at the strange case of Eliot Spitzer.
As to the broader implications of Spitzer's downfall -- Did the American public miss out on a guy who could have done the country a lot of good and who probably didn't do anything previous politicians hadn't done? -- the movie is mum.
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