Morgan Spurlock Sells Out in The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
As agreeable as it is insidious, Morgan Spurlocks latest exposé of corporate control via immersive humiliation is his best, most formally inventive project yet. The premise is initially fuzzySpurlock proposes to fund a doc about product placement solely with product placementsand The Greatest Movie Ever Sold bogs down early with a headache-inducing parade of brand advisers, spinners, massagers, and mediators with whom he consults. Once he sits down with the marketing teams from various would-be sponsors, however, the movie kicks in. Their desperation is as plain as our susceptibility is alarmingsomething a detour to São Paulo, Brazil, where outdoor advertising is illegal, makes painfully clear: The citys bare walls and billboard-free highways seem disturbingly naked. Spurlocks customary half-assed musings over how all this might affect him dont detract from the horrible fascination of watching him become a consummate pitchman for his art. He subtly sells something to everyone he encounters, from rockers OK Go (who contribute an OK closing tune) to Ralph Nader (all too easily intrigued by Morgans Merrell slip-ons) to those of us gaping in the audience. One wag dubs the experience pleasingly circular, but its more like watching a beloved pet devour itself tail-first, deliberately and with alarming grace.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful