February 22, 2005


I guess I really don't understand movie criticism...

A couple of weeks ago, in the bargain bin at our DVD store (no longer a video store, really), I came across a movie I'd never heard of, The Man Who Cried; since it had Johnny Depp and John Turturro (two favorite actors of both my wife and me), I figured I'd gamble and give it a shot.

We were both pleasantly surprised -- the film is far more engaging than, say, The English Patient, which all but put me to sleep when I saw it.

What I don't understand is why The Man Who Cried garnered such terrible reviews when it came out. Sure, this is no Citizen Kane or even the Wizard of Oz, but it's hard for me to understand why this reasonably engaging movie would be trashed while a tedious film like the English Patient (is it over yet? is this thing still going? okay, they can end it now...Nooooo!) gets rave critical reviews.

Tough to figure...

Posted by Ideofact at February 22, 2005 11:16 AM

I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that reviewers watch a movie with the intention to review it. There might be something in the critical viewing of a narrative that clouds a person instinctive reaction to a film.

Posted by: karlo at February 23, 2005 04:06 PM

Could be. I wonder if there's also a predisposition to regard as a work of genius a movie that the studio insists is a work of genius. There was so much advanced press on how wonderful the English Patient was, long before it was actually seen by reviewers, that critics may have been predisposed to find reasons to like it.

Posted by: Bill at February 23, 2005 05:36 PM