The Reeler Review
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There is now a general, often indignant consensus that F. Scott Fitzgerald's bit about there being no second acts in American lives was one of the dumbest things he ever sighed over a highball. And yet An Unreasonable Man, Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan's measured, brimming survey of the life (i.e. the career) of Ralph Nader, manages to argue both in favor of and against that idea, calling to mind in the process the damning hubris of An American Tragedy, Dreiser's 1925 novel about the perils of ambition and one man's one-act life. Hop back to 1903, three years before the murder trial on which Dreiser based his masterpiece, and you have George Bernard Shaw providing a pseudo-socialist dream agenda for the 20th century in Man and Superman (and the title for this film): "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."


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