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Hollywood embraces Al Gore and ‘Truth’

- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2007

"An Inconvenient Truth," former Vice President Al Gore's movie about climate change, won the Oscar for best documentary last night, thrusting the former Democratic politician under a bright spotlight.

"We need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue," Mr. Gore said, getting the honor at the first "green" Academy Awards. "We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."

The Oscar statue formally goes to producers Lawrence Bender and Laurie David, and director Davis Guggenheim, who last night said Mr. Gore inspired the team with his three-decade fight to highlight the threat of global warming.

"All of us who made this film ... we did so because we were moved to act by this man," Mr. Guggenheim said in a choked voice. "We share this with you."

Mr. Gore, who stars in the film as its narrator, also has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. "An Inconvenient Truth," based on Mr. Gore's global-warming slide show presentation, is the third highest-grossing documentary in history.

Mr. Gore also joined actor Leonardo DiCaprio to announce that organizers had made the Academy Awards "green." Many of the Hollywood A-listers were shuttled to the Oscars in ecofriendly cars.

"Environmentally intelligent practices" were "integrated fully into every aspect of the planning and production" of the show, Mr. Gore said. "It is not as hard as you might think. We have a long way to go, but all of us can do something in our own lives to make a difference."

Mr. DiCaprio called Mr. Gore "a true champion" for the environmental cause, and the two hammed it up for the award show's estimated 1 billion worldwide TV audience, playing on the buzz over whether Mr. Gore will again run for president.

"Anything you might want to announce?" Mr. DiCaprio twice asked the former vice president.

"I'm just here for the movies," Mr. Gore insisted.

Amid laughter, Mr. Gore reached into his tuxedo pocket and pulled out a speech.

"You've been very convincing and even though I honestly had not planned on doing this, with a billion people watching it's as good a time as any, so my fellow Americans I'm going to take this opportunity right here and now to formally announce I am" -- but he was interrupted by the orchestra, which cued the music intended to nudge bloviating stars off the stage during long speeches.

Later, the Gore film picked up a second Oscar: Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up" won for best original song.