More thrilling than…

Posted by · 11:32 am · December 5th, 2008

Happily for Universal, the majority of US critics seem to like “Frost/Nixon” significantly more than I did. It’s currently sitting on a healthy Metacritic score of 80, with ringing endorsements from such estimable names as David Denby, J. Hoberman and Kenneth Turan. As a side note, however, on reading Turan’s review, his parting shot struck me as unusually ill-judged from a critic for whom I have great respect:

The result is involving, engrossing cinema — more thrilling, in fact, than Howard’s “The Da Vinci Code” — filmmaking of a type rarely seen anymore and sorely missed.

More thrilling than “The Da Vinci Code?” Considering that Turan clearly loves the film, is that line — possibly the faintest praise imaginable — really the best he could do? Moreover, the addition of the words “in fact” suggests that this should be in any way surprising. Of course “Frost/Nixon” is more thrilling than “The Da Vinci Code.” But then, so are corporate training videos. Dig deeper, Mr. Turan.

Moving on. I was previously uncertain that the film would generate enough passion to be a Best Picture contender, but as the pool grows ever shallower, it looks increasingly as though this safe, solidly crafted and apparently well-liked effort could be among those left standing come February.

→ 6 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

6 responses so far

  • 1 12-05-2008 at 11:54 am

    Silencio said...

    Perhaps he was making a deliberate statement by referencing Da Vinci Code in that manner.

  • 2 12-05-2008 at 12:18 pm

    Zan said...

    Keep picking those nits, Guy. :)

  • 3 12-05-2008 at 1:20 pm

    Zac said...

    Considering that Da Vinci Code was Howard’s last movie, that might be why Turan mentions it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    However, considering the derision that DVC received from critics, I can see it as damning with faint praise.

    The last line is a reason why Howard has never come up whenever I think of the great directors in movies today. He does make great movies from time to time, but he’s never made a movie where I go “Wow! I’m going to remember this movie for the rest of my life.”

  • 4 12-05-2008 at 1:31 pm

    Gustavo said...

    THE DA VINCI CODE sucked.

  • 5 12-05-2008 at 2:41 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Haha, Zac :)

    I’m really not reading much into the line — it’s just lazy writing on Turan’s part, and it amused me.

  • 6 12-05-2008 at 3:26 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Solid and well-liked. Those were the words I was looking for to describe this film. It will make it into the final five. No doubt in my mind.