Policy: Environment & Energy

Liberal magazine pans Matt Damon anti-fracking movie

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Movies,Charlie Spiering,Energy and Environment,Fracking

According to a review published by liberal magazine Mother Jones,  Matt Damon’s new anti-fracking movie is a “dud.”

The film ‘Promised Land’ – starring Matt Damon, the Office’s John Krasinski, and directed by Gus Van Sant – was financed in part by the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, according to Heritage’s Lachlan Markay.

The film’s script tries to vilify American oil and gas companies for promoting fracking as a safe process to obtain previously unavailable supplies of natural gas.

“Conservative pundits and the fracking lobby have preemptively declared this movie a dud,” writes Asawin Suebsaeng for the magazine. “Sadly, they may—albeit for completely different reasons—have been on to something.”

Suebsaeng adds that the film “putters out into both embarrassment and creative lethargy.”

“Gus Van Sant’s latest tries to teach, preach, and play upon our sense of shared humanity—but simply does not devote enough time, energy, or nuance to get any of those jobs done,” Suebsaeng writes.

The movie only earned a 39 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been panned by several prominent movie critics.

“‘Promised Land’ feels divided against itself, not quite sure how to reconcile its polemical intentions with its storytelling impulses, and thus finally unable to fulfill its own promise,” writes the New York Times’ A.O. Scott.

“No one seems to recognize the irony of making a film about corporate rigging that is itself outrageously rigged,” the A.V. Club's Scott Tobias writes.

Even a review from the Sierra Club, a prominent environmental advocacy group criticized the film for “sympathizing with the ‘other side.’”

“The film loses an opportunity to portray any one of the more compelling life and death struggles that most families in gas drilling communities are faced with–the desperate stories of poisoned water, ruined farms and livestock, lost property values, and sickened and bankrupted communities wrought by oil and gas industry recklessness,” writes the Sierra Club’s Gusti Bogok on their New York City Group website. “These are the real-life stories that need to be told, shouted out for all the world to hear, to understand the insanity of fracking and take action against it.”

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