Directors: Henriette Mantel, Steve Skrovan
Starring: Ralph Nader
Studio/Run Time: IFC First Take, 122 mins.
The ?rst half of An Unreasonable Man successfully recovers consumer activist Ralph Nader’s reputation from the burial most have long since given it.
Following Nader’s Raiders, his militia of “radical nerds,” it details the miraculous ways Nader was able to trapeze the Beltway to achieve meaningful reforms, from car safety to personal privacy. Like Nader, though, the ?lm unspools over the third reel. When Nader’s favorite cause becomes himself, during his doomed 2000 and double-doomed 2004 Presidential campaigns, instead of offering insight into Nader’s character, the ?lm obsesses over being fair and balanced, and turns into a so-open-minded-its-brain-goops-out post-liberal mush. Still, Nader is so polarizing that the drama essentially writes itself. If one entered pissed at Nader, he’ll likely exit feeling the same, which is too bad, because Nader remains an authentic William Jennings Bryan-like folk hero. But maybe it’s what Nader would want: to leave you angry enough to take action.