Are movie critics afraid of thinking out of the box ?

I hate to admit it, but I’m a big fan of award-shows. The Golden Globes are no exception, and I was really stoked to watch that show yesterday night. I just saw Social Network and Toy Story 3 last week so I had a better idea of what was going on with the nominations.

I liked the show overall: Ricky Gervais was funny as the host, Olivia Wilde was hot as hell and DeNiro got honored for his amazing career. But, in the end, I think the Hollywood Foreign Press failed miserably again in encouraging “out-of-the-box” cinema.

First off, let me say that I really loved Social Network. I think David Fincher is an amazing director (I’m a die-hard fan of Seven and Fight Club), Jesse Eisenberg was really good in his role, Aaron Sorkin’s script definitely deserved an award, and this movie is probably the first that is able to portrait recent events such as the Facebook story without leaving you with the bitter taste of deja vu and “we already know all that” in your mouth. Bottom line, if you haven’t seen it, rent it right away, it’s awesome.

BUT, there’s a but. This year, Inception made the cut as one of the five nominees for Best Picture – Drama, and in my opinion, it deserved to win by a mile, if not two. Let’s get this straight, how many times do we read sentences like “the story was same old same old” and “the movie lacked originality” in various movie critics. Pretentious critics are fast to notice these flaws, and their not shy of expressing their opinions in their reviews.

Now, here you have this epic thriller/sci-fi movie, with a concept never before seen, with an all-star cast (it’s a scandal that DiCaprio was not nominated for Best Actor) and a story that challenges your intelligence to the next level. Let’s face it, movies like Inception come once every 5, maybe 10 years. What was the last mega Hollywood blockbuster that messed up with your head the way Inception did ? For me I think it was Memento, also directed by Christopher Nolan, and that was 11 years ago, in 2000, and saying it was a Blockbuster is pushing it way too hard.

Inception is also beautifully directed, and without taking away anything from Mr. Fincher, it was most likely a lot more challenging movie to direct than Social Network. The story is heavily complex, but the way it is told makes it perfectly understandable if you’re concentrated, and this can only be achieved by an experienced, highly-talented director, which Mr. Nolan is.

Also, I’m not saying IMDB’s Top 250 list is an absolute reference, but when a movie is #7 just months after its release, it must mean it’s pretty good, no ? Even Black Swan is 108 positions in front of the Social Network, which appears at #160. People might not know cinema like movie critics, but we’re not talking about a controversial battle for first or second place, we’re talking about 153 positions separating the two movies in the eyes of the public’s opinion.

Now why would movie critics not give the Best Picture – Drama award to Inception ? Are their condescending selves shy of publicly liking a movie involving science fiction ? Is it bad for this very select and elitist group of person to recognize a movie involving visual effects ? Probably not, since Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won Best Picture at the Oscars back in ’04. What is it then ? I’m waiting for an answer.

Had it been any other year, I would have shut my mouth and congratulated the Social Network team for their wins. But this is just a shame. Inception is a movie like no other, while Fincher’s movie is something that has been seen before and that we’ll see again in the future. I blame those critics for the lack of originality in today’s cinema, because letting a movie like Inception go without any recognition is encouraging established and aspiring filmmakers to play it safe, not take risks, and do like everybody else. To the critics, you’re the only ones to blame for your recurring “the story lacked originality” sentences.


One response to “Are movie critics afraid of thinking out of the box ?

  1. Pingback: | Suggestions du jour 01/18/2011

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