Friday, November 18, 2011

Why Movie Reviewers Turn Into Op-Ed Writers

I was reading Joe Morganstern's review of George Clooney's latest movie, and was struck by this line:
Mr. Clooney is a star at the peak of his powers, playing the sort of person we're seldom privileged to meet—a whole man, which is to say a flawed and foolish man who is basically good, and who gets a precious shot at being better.

There's a lot of profundity in that little snippet. I've notice several big think commentators today started or do movie reviews (Steve Sailer, Frank Rich, John Podhoretz, Michael Medved). The ability to articulately critique pop-fiction is deceptively deep, I guess.


Patrick R. Sullivan said...

There's nothing deep about Medved, but he is deceptive. He once pulled a really dirty trick on me; knowing he was going to lose an argument, he made sure I wasn't allowed any time to make it. All in the interest of letting him keep up the appearance of being an 'expert on everything'.

Now Clooney, there's an interesting guy. He inadvertently made a movie that pretty much exposed Edward R. Murrow and his CBS News team as egomaniacal jerks who would say anything, factual or not, to get their man. I doubt that it ever dawned on him what he'd accomplished in 'Good Night and Good Luck'.

Leo said...

You've just missed a precious opportunity to explain to your readers why this is deep. Personally I see a low information content sentence, in the characteristic style of a journalist who has nothing to say but needs nonetheless to write his article. Maybe you find it deep because it's the kind of stuff you often end up writing in your posts?

Eric Falkenstein said...

Leo: Our imperfection is the basis for guilt one sees prominent in Christianity's original sin, environmentalism's obsession with human pollution, or existentialists who see angst as necessary in any thoughtful person. We are imperfect beings, which causes us grief, even shae. But imperfect beings can still be 'good', as in doing the best with what we have, including tolerance of our human pettiness. Life is a journey from complete ignorance and pure instinct, to partial instinct and a knowledge of essential virtues.

As to getting another chance, it's a nice, classic thought, the idea of redemption, one of my favorite themes of Christianity. It's good to have redemption, good when people earn it.

Reviewers who think about the how and why of an event rather than simply whether it is good or bad, or who are oriented toward personal growth, display high levels of wisdom knowledge.

free movies online said...

Maybe he just wanted to give "flavor" to the article with that words, so making it more interesting to read