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How will ‘The Apprentice’ fare at the box office?

A biopic about Donald Trump premieres at Cannes next week.

Using the logic of the book title “Everything Trump Touches Dies,” I am surprised someone made a movie about “the disgraced, twice impeached, four-times indicted, liable for sexual abuse, defamation and financial fraud ex-president,” as MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace describes him.

The film in question is “The Apprentice,” referring to Donald Trump himself. It premieres next week at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival. Admittedly, I did not see this coming, but that is because the movies are my escape.

Graphic courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Biopics also represent one of my two favorite genres, the other being documentary film. Of course, my taste is not unreasonable; I drove an hour from my mother’s house last weekend to the amazing Bedford Playhouse just to see “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on a humongous screen.

(“Mommie Dearest” was on the big screen at the newly re-opened Spectrum 8 in Albany last weekend, but the New York State Capitol is twice as far from my mom’s house.)

Regardless, I am not sure I wll drive anywhere to see a biopic about Donald Trump, even one where he plays the apprentice. Directed by Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, “The Apprentice” examines the relationship between Trump and prosecutor Roy Cohn. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as “a mentor-protégé narrative.”

That’s cool. Still, I can’t help but wonder who this audience is. I mean, we all know Trump’s lawyers are a sad lot. Look at Rudy Giuliani; his law license is suspended in New York and Washington, D.C. I would not be surprised if he ends up being disbarred just like Roy Cohn was.

And yet the whole idea of a film about Donald Trump called “The Apprentice” is beyond excellent. Not since Adam McKay’s 2018 “Vice” have I appreciated such a titular double entendre in the name of a movie. Don’t forget: “Vice” also gave us a mentor-protégé narrative about a former president who studied business at an Ivy League school. Or so they say.

I am taking a wait-and-see approach to “The Apprentice.” It could benefit from superb timing, especially if Trump is convicted in the first of his many upcoming trials. It may also suffer from Trump exhaustion, which few people I know have survived unscathed.

The good news: Woman on the Verge is excited about another new biopic. It opens Friday at The Triplex. Here is a sneak peek:


The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

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