Welcome to the first edition of A.O. Scott Watch. I’ve been obsessed with the NY Times Movie Reviewer for years (and I know I’m not the only one).
He has a way with words — witty, harsh, exuberant, vivid, spot on — that isn’t matched. He’s the only reviewer I’ve even written to as a fan. For reasons that I can’t now comprehend, it was in response to his review of Rock Star, starring Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg in 2001. I didn’t hear back, but then I had the luck of meeting him in the Charlie Rose green room and reminded him about my letter. He stared at me blankly for a bit, and then gave me a slight nod. It was thrilling, as if I had met Tom Cruise right after Cocktail.
I’d like to highlight some of my favorite A.O.-isms in this space moving forward…starting with this one about Seven Pounds:
“I don’t see how any review could really spoil what may be among the most transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made. I would tell you to go out and see it for yourself, but you might take that as a recommendation rather than a plea for corroboration. Did I really see what I thought I saw?
And I wish I could spell out just what that was, but you wouldn’t believe me, and the people at Sony might not invite me to any more screenings…
Huh? What the … ? Hang on. What’s he doing? Why? Who does he think he is? Jesus! That last, by the way, is not an exclamation of shock but rather an answer to the preceding question, posed with reference to Mr. Smith. Lately he has taken so eagerly to roles predicated on heroism and world-saving self-sacrifice — see I Am Legend and Hancock — that you may wonder if he has a messiah clause in his contract.”
Hope you catch some good flicks this weekend!
Posted by: Mariela