Where’s My Roy Cohn?

Roy Cohn was a beloved figure at Studio 54 as he palled around with owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager – and director Matt Tyrnauer didn’t seem outraged by that in his fine documentary about the legendary disco. But, Tyrnauer admits, he “thought, of course, Hillary Clinton would win” the 2016 Presidential election as he finished that film. Instead, a traumatized Tyrnauer suddenly decided that Cohn had to be revisited in an attempt to permanently tie the controversial figure to Donald Trump. It’s true that the gay NYC socialite lawyer did some work for Trump in the ’70s and ’80s, after first making headlines as Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief aide while investigating Communists in the 1950s. Tyrnauer may even have once been interested in defining Cohn’s unique place in history. Unfortunately, his movie is stuck with the infantile worldview of a Red Diaper Baby. It’s pretty baffling to watch Tyrnauer insist that Cohn sent an innocent Ethel Rosenberg to the electric chair. Then some supposedly troubling Senate transcripts only serve to make McCarthy seem downright visionary. Republican operative Roger Stone finally has to salvage this propaganda by being unrepentant in his own support of his former mentor – while providing the only insight into Cohn that’s based in reality.

[NR]