Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

“Sideways”, critics and their biases


Kottke points out an article by NYT film critic A.O. Scott about how critics probably love “Sideways,” the film poised to take the Academy Awards by storm, because the main character is basically a critic. What he means by that is the guy is kind of a withdrawn nerd with an encyclopedic knowledge on some arcane subject matter, which he then expounds on at length (ahem..cough..hypocrite blogger…cough).

I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve noticed this kind of behaviour in movie critics before. “Diner” is an OK movie, but since most film critics spent the early sixties in greasy spoons blabbing to their friends while the captain of the football team picked and chose cheerleaders, I can see how it resonates. Ditto with the “Big Chill,” which isn’t terrible, but also isn’t in the least bit relevant to a Generation X no-good like myself. All the boomer critics love it, though, and consistently place it near the top of their “best of all time” lists. Same with “Accidental Tourist,” a slow moving borefest about some withdrawn author, that really only has a decent John Williams score to recommend it.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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