The usually silver-tongued Eliot Spitzer, political hero of the recent Inside Job and now ubiquitous media personality, stammers and hesitates when asked to explain the psychosexual motivations behind his spectacular flameout in Alex Gibney's gripping Client 9—or, if you prefer, Inside Blow Job. Spitzer, whose tireless efforts to redeem himself led to his cooperation in this doc, receives an entirely sympathetic—yet thoroughly researched—treatment from Gibney, who makes a persuasive case that the former governor may have been brought down not just by his penis but by his deep-pocketed enemies: GOP operatives and the titans of industry Spitzer went after during his tenure as New York State Attorney General from 1999 to 2006. Whether the Sheriff of Wall Street's phenomenally bad judgment (and appalling hypocrisy) was the result of either extraordinary hubris or a willful need for self-destruction, Spitzer himself tensely offers this vague explanation: "Those are the mysteries of the human mind, I suppose, because I don't know." But as Gibney argues, what matters more than the reasons behind Spitzer's psychological shortcomings is that his political career ended—most likely forever—just when we needed his stewardship the most.
Surprisingly, Silda Wall Spitzer didn't divorce her husband.
Opens at Varsity, Fri., Nov. 19. Rated R. 118 minutes.