An Enemy of Serious Film Criticism?

Here’s Brett McCracken on Movieguide’s ongoing campaigns of preposterous “film criticism.”

Earlier, Mark Moring’s post at CT… in which the comments became lively, especially when Movieguide’s Tom Snyder showed up to call Moring’s post “a silly article” without sufficiently answering any of the problems exposed.


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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Martin Stillion

    Perhaps Penn did deserve the Oscar on the merits of his performance. I have no quarrel with that. It’s still illogical for him to maintain that people should reconsider their votes on Prop 8 because he got an Oscar. Denzel Washington played Malcolm X and didn’t get an Oscar; does that mean I should reconsider my position on racial equality?

  • Gaith

    *er, “I do, too.” (gotta take a nap…)

  • Gaith

    Er, Jeff, it’s somewhat dishonest to quote Sullivan’s very short piece criticizing Penn’s speech without noting that he unequivocally praised Black’s, isn’t it? ;)

    And Seth, many very credible people feel Penn deserved the Oscar on the merits of his performance. And I to, too. :)

  • Brett

    The stopped clock is right twice a day, so I’m not shocked I partially agree with Andrew Sullivan. And “The Colonel” was hilarious. “Finger-lickin’ dead,” indeed.

  • Seth H.

    Personally I think a person should be able to marry whomever they want…provided they’re of age, of the same species and not swimming in the same gene pool. Regardless of my personal views on homosexuality, it’s not my place to deny them their earthly happiness.

    However, the Oscar speechifying was definitely the low point of the night, especially since I think Black and Penn received their awards just so they could give those speeches. I haven’t seen Milk yet (planning to at some point, if for no other reason than to justify or nullify this quasi-mini-rant), but I can’t for a moment imagine Sean Penn bettering Mickey Rourke’s epic performance in The Wrestler. It struck me as a purely political gesture, not an artistic one. If Prop 8 hadn’t passed a few months ago, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  • Ryan H.

    I like the idea of seeing Naomi Watts and Sean Penn together, but after the double-punch of the thoroughly mediocre MR. AND MRS. SMITH and the absolutely abysmal JUMPER, I’ve just about lost all faith in Doug Liman. It’s a shame; once upon a time, Liman was a promising talent.