I probably should have known better. I’ve pretty successfully avoided the T-D’s movie reviews over the past year or so after I finally realized that they had little or no critical or literary value and it was just as easy to read any of a half-dozen better critics online (including the best “quick hit” reviews from Jerry Williams). But this morning’s Flair cover on the Oscars hooked me in and I was once again subjected to the lame-itude that is Neman.
I could have brushed off the idiotic repeated “joke” about awards not going to flops. I would have chalked up the internal inconsistency to typical sloppiness or maybe laziness (Neman chides the Academy for forgetting Tommy Lee Jones in “The Valley of Elah” while saying no one liked “There Will Be Blood.” “Blood” which is still in theaters hasn’t exactly been a blockbuster but it’s current box office take stands at about 5 times what “Elah” made in its entire run).
But harder for me to shrug off is his derision for David Denby at the New Yorker. I don’t necessarily think Denby is some ultimate critic or anything but he’s head and shoulders above Mr. Neman. Among the many great things in Denby’s latest piece – a survey of the Coen Brothers films – is that it sums up exactly what is wrong with “No Country for Old Men,” in my opinion. I love the Coens but I’m with Denby in thinking “No Country” doesn’t quite match their previous best (unlike Denby, I love “O Brother Where Art Thou” and “Miller’s Crossing.”)
Neman also says that Amy Ryan should win best supporting actress for "Gone Baby Gone" – which may be true; I can’t really say since I haven’t seen the movie. “GBG” is the last movie I remember Neman actually liking (he said it “turns out to be well-crafted and compelling, brutal but not unfunny”) but at last reckoning, it only made about $20 million at the box office versus “Blood”’s $33 million and counting. Should people be looking at Neman a bit oddly these days? Why no “awards not going to flops” line here? Oh yeah, there’s that consistency thing again.
So if it’s not too late, I’d suggest skipping the Oscar cover stories and flipping right to the interview with the “Doubt” cast. While I wish Keri Wormald would have been included in the convo, it’s still an interesting piece.
And for those who had hopes of snagging “Idol” cast-off Colton Berry for a local production (OK, so maybe that was just me…), it looks like he has his sights set for bigger venues. Oh well; maybe that’s not such a bad thing.