August 26, 2008

Happy Women's Equality Day

Today is the 88th anniversary of women getting the vote, and it's chick day at the Democratic National Convention. In honor of women in politics, here are some thoughts on a film I came across a film on Netflix accidentally -- The Politician's Wife.

The Politician's Wife is a 12-year-old British miniseries (3 parts) that eerily feels like it could have been written last week. While we all know the image of the deceived political spouse is not new, the image feels more relevant in these last few years -- especially this year -- with the idiocies of Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards in the headlines.

The film tells the story of Flora Matlock (played by the awesome Juliet Stevenson) as the wife of the conservative Minister of the Family. I'm sure you can already guess the premise -- he gets caught sleeping with a younger woman, promises his wife that it was nothing and that it was over before it really started. Liar. As the story unfolds it is discovered that the affair lasted a year and that there are tapes of erotic phone calls that get into Flora's hands.

At first, Flora is the good girl and stands up for the party and her husband like a good wife is supposed to do. It made me sick how all the advisers and her husband spoke down to her, while they all knew that should she waver in her support all their lives would be destroyed. The tapes fuel Flora's anger and even though outwardly it seems like she is standing by her man, she secretly puts together a plot to exact revenge on her lyin' cheatin' no good husband.

While watching this film I couldn't help but think of the conversations that Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards must have had with their wives. The sense of impunity that Trevor Eve (as Duncan Matlock) shows is so unbecoming and familiar. Why do these guys think they can constantly gets away with it?

The mini-series was written by Paula Milne during the height of all the scandals in the conservative government in Britain in the 90s. Sadly, it seems like things have not changed much today.

Other political movies that I like are The Contender and Iron Jawed Angels. What are your favorites?