Most Amusing/Entertaining Column of the Week awards around here usually go to Glenn Kenny and "Topics/Questions/Exercises Of The Week" at The Auteurs, and this week there’s two award-worthy entries. Why? Because I missed the one before Thanksgiving, somehow. This week Kenny finds himself with some holiday heartsickness over realizing he misses the now-defunct Spout blog, which then rolls over into regret at writing off writing about awards so early in the season. That’s how I got caught up with the November 20 column—a link within that bit that leads to Glenn’s original wiping-away-tears-hilarious consideration of award season writers crisis. (“Come. Take my hand. Let me walk you through the three stages of an American cinephile's process of dealing with movie awards. Step One: Anger. Blind, filthy rage…”)
But there’s more. All that is followed by my favorite single piece of writing of the week, a compendium of the critical sneers engendered by the new Sandra Bullock movie The White Side entitled “Why Do Film Critics Hate America?” I’m actually hoping that this picture, written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Rookie, A Perfect World) from a book by Michael Lewis (Moneyball) might be worth a look, and if it’s not, well, so be it. But I got right tickled by Kenny’s tongue-in-cheek overview of how “hip urban film critics” were taking this one (not in stride, as it turns out). He writes:
“I haven't yet seen The Blind Side, and I admit it'll probably be a while before I do—the last football-themed movie I shelled out money to watch was The Longest Yard. In 1974. Because I'm fey and think sports are icky. And I'm not the only one. Melissa Anderson reviewed the putatively-inspirational-based-on-a-Michael-Lewis-book-
football-star-by-caring-conservative-white-people for The Village Voice (figures!), and not only did she hate hate hate it, she also hated the real-life SEC football coaches who cameo as themselves in the film: "an unintentionally grotesque parade of bad orthodonture and ill-fitting suits." EEEWWW! SOUTHERN WHITE MEN WHO DON"T WEAR BESPOKE CLOTHING!!! THEY'RE GIVING ME COOTIES!!!
In Time Out New York (figures!) David Fear sneered that the movie was designed to "[make] suburban moms feel better about themselves during the post-screening drive to Costco." Fear. Dude. Have you ever been to a Costco? Trust me, it's awesome. The cheese, it...comes in these enormous slabs and...seriously, dude, you have to check it out. Also, suburban housewives think that Antichrist is designed to make hip urban film critics feel better about themselves when they're on their way to have abortions!!”
Don’t worry, I haven’t quoted it all. And just know that it all leads down the road to the Armond White-ism of the Week.
Yes, I know we’re supposed to be above all this kind of stuff—Kenny regularly questions himself and the column’s reputation as being “a repository for its author's snark.” But if loving Glenn Kenny’s snark in “Topics/Questions of the Week” is wrong, well, I at least reserve the right to giggle over it in private. Except when I’m sharing it with you, of course. And if he’s being mean to me.
Have a great weekend, everybody!