Your Such a Critic

The Question

March 10, 2006

Just showing up on the Oscars ballot can give a picture a big boost, convincing undecided moviegoers that it must be good if it's up for an Academy Award. OK, so when was the last time the Academy Awards changed your mind about seeing a film ... and you hated it? Or loved it?


I wasn't going to go. But when I did, I was very disappointed in Lost in Translation [2003] starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. I kept waiting for something to happen. I longed for some kind of plot. Nothing ever evolved. It was solely about the two main characters and their boredom with life. That, in turn, carried over to me. I was bored to death!


In the past month I have rented out both Crash and The Constant Gardener because both were on the ballot this year for best picture. After watching both of them, I felt that they had been overrated, as well as fairly boring. I loved Walk the Line and, of course, it was left off of the [best picture] ballot. That movie made me become a Johnny Cash fan.

Last year, I would not have bothered seeing Sideways if it hadn't gotten all the Academy Award nominations. I wound up loving it and now own it on DVD and want to become more of a wine connoisseur. I also rented American Splendor a few years ago for the same reason and thought it was great, even though it was overlooked by the masses.



Jonathan Demme's film about musician Neil Young (Neil Young: Heart of Gold) reaches Baltimore today, and movie critic Michael Sragow is raving about it. The Last Waltz (1978 ), Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004) and Demme's own Stop Making Sense (1984) also come to mind as concert films that made a lot of noise. What was your favorite underrated concert movie, one that quietly touched the soul or maybe came and went in a flash of pyrotechnics?

Please send your thoughts in a brief note with your name, city and daytime phone number (and "Such a Critic" in the memo field) to We'll publish the best answers we receive.

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