The marketing team behind the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, the first of a three-part series based on Ayn Rand's cult classic novel about the dangers of government intervention, hopes the Tea Party movement will turn out in droves this weekend.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, many Tea Party faithful have attended advanced screenings and praised the film for adhering to Rand's core principles, many of which have become lynchpins of the movement's cause. One Tea Party email circulating in California promoted the film's message and release date, making a request to supporters to mark their calendars for a "celebration of capitalism."
Over the past forty years, multiple filmmakers and star names - Angelina Jolie being one of the most recent - were attached to the project, but current director Paul Johansson is the first to actually get a crack at it.
Johansson, himself a lifelong admirer of Rand's, told The HR that if the film does not succeed in theaters, he won't ever make another film.
Unfortunately, the critical reception for the film thus far has been rather abysmal. "I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand's 1957 novel could understand the film at all," Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun Times. "For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms."
"Part one of a trilogy that may never see completion, this hasty, low-budget adaptation would have Ayn Rand spinning in her grave," wrote Peter Dubruge in Variety. Bill Goodykoontz went further in the Arizona Republic, writing that "the acting is so poor and the story so badly told that the viewer's feelings about Rand's novel -- an epic ode to free-market fundamentalism -- are almost immaterial."
Still, the film may find footing with the throngs of Rand admirers in this country. A 1991 poll from the Library of Congress found that, for Americans, Atlas Shrugged is the second most influential book in history. Behind the Bible.