But perhaps the biggest insight that Sacha Baron Cohen has gifted us with his skewering mockumentary starring himself as a hapless Kazakhstan native set loose in the American wilds in 2020 is that there’s something else that is also still alive and well in this country, despite all the wrenches the year has thrown us: the blockbuster movie.
Only it looks very different than it traditionally has.
Borat 2, which has managed to create the virtual water-cooler moment of the season, united audiences almost from the minute it dropped on October 22 (and word of the controversial Giuliani scene leaked). It arrived with almost none of the bells and whistles that typically signal the arrival of a “big” movie. There was no teaser trailer dropped a year in advance, no billboard campaign papering cities for months before its release; no splashy press junket; no star-studded premiere. Even by the diminished standards of the COVID-19 era, there was little traditional-style ballyhoo.