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Siskel and Ebert on Film Criticism

5 May

We Who Ruin Movies, by Tyler Smith

20 Nov

I was recently speaking to an old friend and he revealed his general dislike of film critics. This was, of course, quite off-putting, as he knew that this is what I consider my calling to be. I asked what it is exactly that bothers him about critics. His answer was intriguing; he talked about the recent Mira Nair film Amelia, which stars Hilary Swank as famed female pilot Amelia Earhart. As the film’s release approached, he was excited to see the film. However, upon release, the majority of film critics panned the film, stating that it tried too hard to canonize its subject, rather than treat her as if she were a real person. Knowing that Earhart is already a rather mythic figure, the opportunity to see a realistic, human portrait of the missing pilot was an exciting prospect for most critics. But it was not to be and the disappointment of the film critic community was palpable.