From Martin Tsai’s review of The Constant Gardener in the WestEnder:

City of God first evidenced Meirelles’s penchant for aestheticizing poverty into Benetton ads. As he did with the slums of Rio de Janeiro, he has filmed the destitute Nairobi with oversaturated colours, jerky camera work and choppy editing. Stylizing on demand, he has also photographed the scenes in London with a gloomy olive filter, and stages the Quayles’ between bedsheets as if it were a Lancome perfume commercial. Basically, Meirelles is like the Brazilian Michael Bay, only with slightly more sociopolitically-charged material to better inflict liberal guilt trips upon viewers.

I can see his point, but still — ouch.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • Anonymous

    So is his contention that it would have been a better movie had it been non-stylized and the narrative told in chronological order? If so, he makes a very poor (that is, no) case for that assertion. Looks to me like a critic trying to get attention by distancing himself from him peers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00006626882906247453 Brandon

    Hahaha, Martin is an NYU classmate of mine. What an odd form of small world cross pollination.