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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Love, Music and Politics
by Betty Jo Tucker

Courting Condi offers viewers the first-ever musical docu-tragi-comedy. It’s a highly creative piece of filmmaking written and directed by Sebastian Doggart and starring Devin Ratray. Following Ratray’s campaign to woo and win Condoleezza Rice, his true love, this unique movie presents fascinating information about one of the world’s most powerful women. Opinionated? Yes, but it’s also a lot of fun and quite provocative.

Ratray, who played Buzz McCallister in two Home Alone movies, gains our interest right away with the “love discs” he’s making and sending to Condi. Reeking with sincerity, the love-struck fan pours his heart out in songs about the beautiful Secretary of State. But that’s not enough, so he decides to find out everything he can about the object of his affection. He visits the hospital where Condi was born, travels to places of significance in her life, and interviews people who knew her. He also asks for courting advice from anyone willing to help. Too bad he doesn’t listen to his worried mother and skeptical father, for the course of true love sometimes leads to disappointment and pain.

While on his quest, Ratray learns about Condi’s accomplishments in music, ice skating and politics. The people he interviews along the way include not only family, friends and colleagues from her years in Birmingham, Denver and Stanford but also the following individuals:

Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s Former Chief of Staff

Richard Ben-Veniste of the 9/11 Commission

Congressman David Price, Sponsor of Bill for Oversight on Private Military Contractors (like Blackwater)

Erica Razook of Amnesty International

Christopher Anders, Senior Counsel of the ACLU on Secret White House Torture Meetings

Glenn Kessler and Marcus Mabry, Condoleeza Rice Biographers

Unfortunately, Ratray begins to realize the depth of Condi’s ambition and discovers some unpleasant things concerning her past as Provost at Stanford and her activities as a member of President Bush’s cabinet. Nobody’s perfect, right? But some are less perfect than others.

Writer/director Doggart, an Emmy nominee for Bravo’s Project Runway, claims the media has shied away from investigating Condoleezza Rice. “But she is an extraordinary character. Hers is as fascinating a rise to power as Barack Obama’s, but far darker. Hers is a Faustian story of a brilliant woman who sold her soul for power.”

I’m not surprised at the acclaim Courting Condi is earning on the film festival circuit. It has already won Best Performance for Devin Ratray at the Orlando Film Festival, Most Creative Concept at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Best Comedic Documentary at the Paso Robles Film Festival, and is nominated as Best Comedy Musical at the Mammoth Film Festival.

According to Doggart, Courting Condi’s jolliness “comes from the musical and comedy elements. It’s a movie as weird and wonderful as Rice herself.” I couldn’t agree more.

(To view the trailer for Courting Condi, go to www.courtingcondi.com.)

Listen to Devin Ratray discuss Courting Condi on "Movie Addict Headquarters" by clicking this BlogTalkRadio link


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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