Time Out‘s Tom Huddleston says “there’s plenty of fun to be had” from Burr Steers‘ Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (Sundance Selects, 5.23). “Vidal’s observations on everything from civil rights and JFK to Afghanistan and Iraq are informed, wise and often bleakly funny, while the snippets of his 1968 television debates with right-leaning loonball William F Buckley are downright hilarious. [And] the stars queue up to fawn over Vidal, from celebrity chums like Tim Robbins and Sting to intellectual rivals such as Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens, who Vidal proudly proclaimed as his ‘heir’ before they fell out over US foreign policy.
“But the film’s blanket refusal to question its subject feels not only cowardly, but antithetical. Here was a man who questioned everything (except, perhaps, his own rectitude); who opened every dark door and peered inside. By refusing to do the same with their subject’s life and opinions, the filmmakers do him a disservice.”