Hoping to rekindle the Fahrenheit 9/11-incited box office firestorm of June 23rd, 2004, The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate have elected to release Michael Moore's latest controversy courting documentary, Sicko, on June 29th, where it will compete with Pixar's Ratatouille and Fox's Live Free or Pass Away Pecefully in Your Sleep. The film, which skewers the United States' health care industry, will be unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival in a couple of weeks (out-of-competition per Moore's wishes), and is expected to piss lots of people off.
But, if you choose to believe Harvey Weinstein (always a dicey proposition), Sicko is being positively received by folks on either side of the ideological aisle. According to Weinstein, "I've seen this movie with Republicans and Democrats, and this is one time Michael has sort of unified everyone." He then added, "Would you mind if I finish that cigarette?" before driving to a White Castle and ordering twenty sliders.
I've gone from being a defender of Moore's (loved T.V. Nation and The Awful Truth) to loathing the way he shot dirty pool with Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore is a very funny man, but he's waded way out of his depth; if he were honest, he'd content himself with being a political humorist and leave the exposés to documentarians with a genuine interest in veracity. But I will see Sicko just to have an opinion on Moore's opinion of the sorry state of health care in the United States. Hopefully, he isn't playing the role of propagandist this time.