I've never liked the idea of liking a movie out of obligation, appreciating a movie because a particular filmmaker is so "respected" and "creates real art" that we need to "appreciate" it. Seriously, what kind of holy sanctity are we bestowing upon these mere mortal
I thought of this as I stepped out of a press screening with a bewildered look on my face after watching Terrence Malick's latest vapid drama, SONG TO SONG. Let's just say, my expectations were low and they were basically met, so I wasn't exactly disappointed. At this point, I'm just doing it to myself; I realize that. But what was interesting about this particular post-Malick experience is that people were flowing out of the theater outwardly complaining about what they just saw, dismayed that they had to endure another film from this guy. So I thought that, finally, a Malick film was about to be slaughtered by critical reviews. Instead, the reviews I've read so far have been tepid at worst, with a caveat implying that the movie is not great but should still be considered mandatory reviewing. A New York Times read, "This may not be a film to love, but it is a film to see." Ughhh we're doing this again.
No, SONG TO SONG isn't great. It's not even good; it's excruciating. Why is it so hard to say that out loud? And why in the world would you recommend it if you don't even care for it?
I thought (read: hoped) that we had moved beyond the trend of "admiring" films and deeming them