Few pundits can inspire more passionate responses than the willowy, right-wing flamethrower Ann Coulter. With the looks of a runway model and a sense of humor only Karl Rove could love, this polarizing political figure has made a career out of endlessly eviscerating liberals. The unassuming, fly-on-the-wall documentary Is It True What They Say About Ann?, directed by Patrick Wright and Elinor Burkett, runs a brief 38 minutes but packs quite a bit into its brief length.
The directors more or less follow Coulter around, grabbing interviews with her where they can and charting her rise to the forefront of the nation's political discussion. A woman who's authored four New York Times bestsellers and has sparred with everyone from Katie Couric to Phil Donahue, Coulter comes off as a brash, heedless smart-ass unafraid to say what's on her mind, no matter the consequences.
Whether the film actually answers its title likely depends on the political leanings of the viewer. You do know more about the author/pundit at the film's close than perhaps at the beginning but more often than not, the film feels like a showcase for Coulter's abrasive, confrontational style and less like an objective exploration of a writer whose opinions tend to start vocal conflagrations on talk shows.
Presented in 1.33 fullscreen, Is It True What They Say About Ann? was shot on video and contains numerous clips from broadcast news and as such, has all of the inherent flaws present and accounted for. Grain, pixelation and jagged images are rife throughout the short film.
Offered only in PCM stereo, voices, narration and dialogue are clear and distortion-free for the most part. There are some drop-outs that occur but generally, you can hear every wisecrack Coulter makes.
The bonus material offered here is actually more substantial time-wise than the doc itself; a handful of bonus interviews/footage/featurettes totaling nearly an hour and 45 minutes is gathered, along with a photo gallery. The bonus interviews/footage cover everything from Coulter's childhood years to the presentation of the Claire Booth Luce "Woman of the Year" award to Coulter - not all of it is fascinating, but it does help further flesh out Coulter and her mindset.
Is It True What They Say About Ann? possesses a shaggy-dog charm that still makes the film watchable even if you think Coulter is Lucifer incarnate. Ample supplemental material (although a commentary track from the filmmakers would've been welcome) make this an easy recommendation for a rental - or maybe a gift for the liberal in your life.