review for Bob Roberts on AllMovie

Bob Roberts (1992)
by Michael Betzold review

Released just before the start of the Clinton presidency, Bob Roberts was a prescient pseudo-documentary take on the corruption of American politics by the media-savvy celebrity culture. As the second-term Clinton scandals broke, Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, and Bulworth took art-imitating-current-events irony even further, but Bob Roberts paved the way. The first writing/directing effort of actor Tim Robbins, the film stars Robbins as a self-promoting folk-singer who lauches a cynical, dirty senatorial campaign against an aging liberal incumbent played by Gore Vidal. Robbins wrote the script, directed the film, and even wrote the songs that his character performs. Something of a homage to Robert Altman's Nashville and Tanner '88, Bob Roberts is pure acid in its take on postmodern image-making, media manipulation, and political scheming.