'Haggard': worth a look


January 29, 2009|By DAVID ZURAWIK

Ihave to admit that, at first, I wasn't a big fan of documentarian Alexandra Pelosi. I gave a positive review to her first film, the 2000 Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary Journeys with George, in which she followed then-presidential candidate George W. Bush on his campaign.

It was an engaging and occasionally illuminating film, but I thought there was far too much of Pelosi in the final product, and I found her on-screen persona too cutesy.

But after seeing The Trials of Ted Haggard, Pelosi's latest film, which premieres tonight on HBO, I believe in her talents.

Haggard was pastor of Colorado's New Life Church until 2006, when he admitted buying methamphetamines from and indulging in acts of "sexual immorality" with a male prostitute.

Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tracked him to Arizona where he, his wife and five children were living in borrowed homes and, ultimately, cheap hotels. Pelosi chronicles what happened to Haggard and his family with sensitivity, clarity and perspective. (8 p.m. HBO) *** 1/2

LATE-NIGHT GUESTS Retired Colts football coach Tony Dungy visits the Late Show With David Letterman. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

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