We may have to redefine the term “hagiography.”
For years conservatives gritted their teeth while filmmakers fawned over a procession of progressive figures.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG,” “On the Basis of Sex”
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – “Knock Down the House”
- Rep. Ilhan Omar – “Time for Ilhan”
- President Barack Obama – “Southside with You,” “Barry”
Each of those projects made their subjects look smart, capable, kind and/or deserving of the spotlight. It’s the kind of Hollywood treatment rarely, if ever, afforded conservative politicians.
The Hulu series, “Mrs. America,” has critics describing the show’s depiction of pro-life icon Phyllis Schlafly as a “villain,” if not worse.
Now, it’s Michelle Obama’s turn for a potentially fawning, one-sided feature film. The source of the production, though, may surprise even cynical Hollywood observers.
“Becoming,” debuting May 6 on Netflix, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the former First Lady.
BECOMING is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.
The production shingle behind the film? Higher Ground Productions.
Yes, that’s the same company run by … Barack and Michelle Obama. Netflix shelled out a massive sum to partner with the former First Couple. The company’s first film, “American Factory,” earned awards season buzz last year but didn’t land a Best Documentary Oscar nomination.
Michelle Obama isn’t a politician, technically. She’s still a powerful presence on the political landscape. Many swoon over the notion she could be Joe Biden’s choice for Vice President, a possibility she continues to deny.
Imagine the blowback “Becoming” would receive, sight unseen, had a Republican politician created a movie division and produced a film focusing on him or her.
It would be deafening.
Will “Becoming” inspire a fraction of that reaction? Don’t count on it.