The upcoming Winston Churchill biopic reminds us that a nation’s elite tend to have nothing but disdain for an indispensable man — a man such as Trump.
I tend to be leery of biopics because I hate having my history filtered through Hollywood. It always grates on me when I hear a parent explain to a child that this or that movie “is history.” No, it’s not. History is history. All books and movies are merely interpretations and retellings of that history, with some retellings being a whole lot better than others.
Hollywood has always taken liberties with its biopics. There’s the happily married, completely heterosexual Cole Porter in Night and Day (Porter’s homosexuality got better treatment in the otherwise awful De-Lovely); the cutely Irish, completely heterosexual, almost impressively non-Jewish Lorenz Hart in Words and Music (Hart was a brilliant, anguished Jewish homosexual); the charmingly goyish Jerome Kern in Till the Clouds Roll By (Kern was another Jewish kid from New York); and on and on, in an endless parade of movies both old and new in which history takes a backseat to marketability and prejudice.
I tend to know old musicals, but if you’re really interested in the liberties Hollywood takes, I recommend History v. Hollywood, a website that tackles the challenge of separating historic fact from Hollywood fiction. (The Desmond Doss/Hacksaw Ridge post is especially compelling.) Some of the changes make sense, such as time compression or composite characters. After all, a two-hour movie can only touch the high points of a real person’s life or a history event. Other changes, though . . . well, I have a three-letter word for you: JFK.
Knowing Hollywood’s general tendency to bastardize stories, and its modern tendency to go hard-Left in its rewrites, explains why I’m not 100% enthused about the upcoming film Darkest Hour, which is the newest Churchill biopic, due out at Thanksgiving. Gawd alone knows what the movie will do to Churchill’s amazing ascendency in the early months of World War II. Still, the first trailer hints at a movie in which the historic license might be reasonable and the historic facts might be true:
What I find fascinating about the trailer is that it seems to focus so tightly on the elite’s contempt for Churchill. After all, technically speaking, he was one of them — he came from wealth and the uppermost of upper castes in an aristocratic society — yet in practical terms he was not of them at all. He fundamentally offended their values, values that, in the years following WWI, leaned to pure pacifism and a naïve faith in the power of words and sophistication to face down predators.
Is it just me or does that remind you of what’s going on now with Donald Trump? Technically, he should be seen as one of the elite. He came from a monied background that, while not making him a member of America’s self-styled blue bloods, was certainly enough to make him a natural candidate for America’s elite.
But instead of constantly congratulating himself on his sophistication and elegance, Trump instead turned into a scrapper. His wealth wasn’t based on paper exchanges through banking deals or tinkering about with electronics; it was made in the hard-charging world of New York property development.
Moreover, once had made his billions, Trump didn’t endow universities that already have more money than God or subsidize symphonies that can’t make in the free market. Instead, he spent his money on parties, beauty contests, and gilt-furnished penthouses in shockingly excessive buildings.
Trump is a class traitor. No wonder the upper echelons of the American Left, the ones who call the shots with help of all the useful idiots they’ve engineered in America’s colleges and universities, despise him as they do. [Read more…]