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Mitt – Official Trailer – 24 January 2014

The name Willard Mitt Romney, or “Mitt” as he is more commonly known, is a well-known name to many. In 2012, he was the Republican candidate for President of the United States, losing to incumbent Democratic President, Barack Obama. Although he may have lost the election, and at this juncture has no immediate plans to enter the presidential race again, Romney still has a deep concern for the future of our nation and the direction it is headed.

Mitt Romney – A Man of Great Interest

Mitt Romney Mormon DocumentaryAlthough he may not be in the political spotlight at the moment, the life of Willard Mitt Romney remains of great interest to many people. In fact, Netflix has recently announced that it will debut a documentary titled “Mitt” in January 2014. The film, which covers a 6 year span from Christmas 2006 through his 2012 concession speech, focuses on Romney’s presidential campaign and was directed by Greg Whitely and exec produced by Seth Gordon. It will premiere 17 January 2014 during the Sundance Film Festival gala in Salt Lake City, Utah. After the premiere on 17 January, “Mitt” will then debut on Netflix on Friday, 24 January 2014, at 12:01 AM Pacific time and will be available for viewing in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Latin America, the Nordic countries, and the Netherlands.

Director, Greg Whiteley, commented,

It feels like a full circle moment to premiere this movie at Sundance. I first met and filmed the Romney family in Park City in 2006 as they gathered to discuss whether Mitt should run for President. Over the next seven years I couldn’t believe I was filming inside rooms and situations I had no business being in. [1]

Mitt Romney Mormon DocumentaryThe documentary will reveal a side of Romney that the average electorate never had a chance to see during the 2012 presidential campaign. The viewer will get to see Romney ironing his suit while wearing it, sleeping on the floor of the campaign bus, and also hear his wise crack remark in response to a newscaster’s comment: “A recent poll said that 43 percent of Americans are not even sure who you are.” “The flipping Mormon,” Romney drolly replies. [2]

Gaining the trust of Romney’s son, Tagg, Whitely was able to produce a movie that will give viewers an inside glimpse at the “guarded inner circle of the Romney family during critical moments of Romney’s presidential runs in 2008 and 2012.” [3] However, what the viewer will not see is much of the coverage of the 2012 Republican primary. The reasoning behind this is not quite clear. What is  apparent is that although the movie includes scenes of intense family conversations, the film was carefully edited disallowing the viewers to see all that Whitely saw through his camera lens as he was making the documentary. What the viewers do get to see in the finished product is an intimate portrait of the man who could have been president as someone who is “clear-eyed, self-deprecating, and the most realistic and rational person in the room – if rigid and formal, even in his down time.” [3]

The Two Sides of Mitt Romney

The divide between what the public saw of Romney during his two presidential runs and how he appears in private is clear in the film. In private, Romney was free with hugs for family, even rolling in the snow (with duct-taped gloves) and playing with his grandchildren (though he unflinchingly pushed one of them down a hill on a sled even though the child expressed reluctance and some fear). [3]

Though he may appear to be confident and steadfast to the public, viewers will also get to see Romney as he at times experienced moments of self-doubt. In private, among family and friends, he showed himself to be humble, witty, sarcastic, and real. He was always respectful of President Barack Obama, acknowledging his impeccable debating skills, all the while doubting his own. In humility, he even acknowledged before one of the debates how awkward he felt being critical of a president. Before the second town hall debate, he commented that it was “hard to go on stage to debate another person in front of millions of people on a wide menu of issues that candidates are expected to be expert in.” [3] It was his self-doubt, as well as, his acute awareness of his own flaws, that made it difficult not to realize just how vulnerable he was as a presidential candidate. It is also quite evident in the movie that Mrs. Romney, who shouldered the brunt of the majority of criticism against her husband, does not enjoy politics. And even up to the wire – the night of the election – Romney was skeptical as to whether he could win or not.

“Mitt” is an up close and personal look at the man who could have become the President of the United States. Although he may have lost the election, he is still admired by many, and this new documentary will certainly gain the attention of a large Netflix audience.

Other Resources:

Q&A with Mitt Romney: 2012 campaign, Obamacare rollout, Christie scandal and Utah same-sex marriage

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