The Enron documentary will have an invitation-only local premiere on April 20 at River Oaks Theatre, just a mile or so from the homes of its troubled two former top executives.
The film, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, which has already been shown at film festivals, will be available to all Houston moviegoers April 22 and in the other top 20 markets around the country a week or so later.
"I think it's important to have the premiere in Houston for the most obvious reason: Houston served as the headquarters of Enron and was the city most affected by the company's rise and fall," said Alex Gibney, the film's Grammy and Emmy-winning director, producer and writer.
Of all the characters in the complex dramatic debacle, this 110-minute film focuses most heavily on two River Oaks-area denizens, ex-Chairman Ken Lay and ex-CEO Jeff Skilling.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges in connection with the company's death spiral and are scheduled to be tried in January.
The movie, which was well received at the Sundance Film Festival in January, features many Houstonians, shots of downtown, and even a surprisingly beautiful night scene over East Texas oil refineries.
Although there's plenty of Texas, it also spends a lot of time in California, in part because of the delicious audio tapes of traders cashing in on the state's energy crisis.
The film is based on the book of the same name by Fortune magazine writers Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, who appear in the movie.
For Lay and Skilling (and Fastow, et al.) to be The Smartest Guys in the Room, we are talking about a pretty small room. "The Second-Most Mendacious Guys in the Country" doesn't scan as well, though.
The trailer looks fast-paced, thrillerish and good. I'll review it when it comes out.