Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
USA, 2006. Everyman Pictures, Dune Entertainment, Major Studio Partners, One America, Four by Two Films. Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Anthony Hines, Todd Phillips, Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer, based on a character created by Sacha Baron Cohen. Cinematography by Luke Geissbuhler, Anthony Hardwick. Produced by Sacha Baron Cohen, Jay Roach. Music by Erran Baron Cohen. Costume Design by Jason Alper. Film Editing by Craig Alpert, Peter Teschner, James Thomas.
You know you’re going to have a good time when a film has you laughing at the opening credits. Sacha Baron Cohen, better known to his television fans as Ali G, brings his remarkable characterization of Kazakhstan’s premier television reporter to the big screen with successful results.
In this uproarious comedy with an intelligent, satirical bent, Borat gives us some background information about his life, including his sister (the #4 prostitute in the country!) and his hunched-over, grey-haired 43 year-old mother (the oldest woman in the nation!) before announcing that he will be travelling to America to learn about its culture in order to help improve the lives of his own people.
When he arrives, the completely insane situations he puts himself in (many of them unstaged with unsuspecting participants) reveal a society that, while in some cases inhabited by hospitable and friendly people, is probably even more culturally bankrupt than his own.
There’s lots of juvenile humour and low-brow pranks, but beneath it all is a searing parody that makes it sort of a Jackass for the intellectual set. It also features a delightful cameo by Pamela Anderson, always a good sport for poking fun at her image, and while it is too much of an extended comedy skit to be thought of as a great film, it certainly won’t disappoint you in the entertainment factor.
If for nothing else, watch it for what is probably the most revealing nude scene you’ve ever seen in your entire life.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay
Golden Globe Award: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Nomination: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy
Toronto International Film Festival: 2006