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Written and directed by actor Tim Robbins (who also plays the title role), this 1992 mock documentary about an upstart candidate for the U.S. Senate is smart, funny, and scarily prescient in its foreshadowing of the Republican revolution of 1994. Bob Roberts is a folksinger with a difference: He offers tunes that protest welfare chiselers, liberal whining, and the like. As the filmmakers follow his campaign, Robbins gives needle-sharp insight into the way candidates manipulate the media. While the film follows Roberts's campaign, it also covers a fringe journalist (Giancarlo Esposito), who may have dug up the kind of dirt to push Roberts's campaign off the rails. Robbins captures the chilly insincerity of this right-wing populist and fills his cast with terrific supporting players, including Alan Rickman as the campaign's shadowy financier and Susan Sarandon and Peter Gallagher as a pair of airhead TV news anchors.

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LGE11488 Bob Roberts DVD (1992/Tim Robbins) $19.99