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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Quickie Ebert idiocy-

This is from Ebert's review of Broken Flowers:

Third woman, Carmen (Jessica Lange), protected by her ambiguous assistant (Chloe Sevigny). Carmen is an "animal communicator," who talks to people's pets on their behalf. The movie doesn't take cheap shots at this occupation, but suggests Carmen may be the real thing. "Is he saying something?" Don asks, as Carmen converses with her cat. Carmen: "He says you have a hidden agenda."

The movie doesn't take cheap shots at this occupation...

Occupation? HAHAHA. Good think Ebert is out there, holding the line on defending the poor, ernest animal communicators. After all, that lady charging money to read the mind of your gerbil may be "the real thing."

Why do I read Ebert? Is it, at this point, just a kind of masochistic guilty pleasure? No. He still has moments of truth. From the same review:

No actor is better than Bill Murray as doing nothing at all, and being fascinating while not doing it.

To be more precise, no actor is better than Bill Murray as apathetic, and creating empathy in the audience while being apathetic. But kudos to Ebert for having something approaching a clue.

Kevin Spacey did apathy wonderfully as Lester Burnham in American Beauty, but I think Murray does it better. The Apathetic Protagonist is not exactly an unusual character, though. Jack Nicholson did pretty well in About Schmidt. The good thing about the Apathetic Protagoninst is he's at bottom when we meet him, so his stories (they're always guys, it seems) always start depressing and end up kind of uplifting.


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