Roundup: On the power of the critical pan

Posted by · 2:48 am · November 26th, 2012

I had never heard of Guy Fieri until a few days ago, so I have no dog this fight, but I’m interested in how the media kerfuffle over a single scathing restaurant review has opened up a conversation on critical boundaries and responsibilities in all fields. The New York Times, who ran the offending review to begin with, has fed back into it with a piece by Margaret Sullivan on the necessity of what she terms the “exuberant pan” — the review that zestily takes no prisoners in shooting down a creative endeavor, whether it’s a film or a diner. Having written a few such pans myself — I’m likely never going to be on Madonna’s Christmas card list, nor Julie Taymor’s — I side with Sullivan: criticism is an artform itself, with no place for bland prose or tempered honesty, but the harshest words should be, in her words, “an arrow reached for only rarely.” [New York Times]  

Tom Shone on why an Oscar race filled with po-faced frontrunners really, really needs “Silver Linings Playbook.” [The Guardian]

Academy president Hawk Koch introduced a Friday screening of “Les Miserables,” quoting one of the Oscar producers as predicting multiple nominations for the film — an endorsement rival executives are dismissing as “bullshit.” [The Wrap]

David Hudson comprehensively rounds up critical reactions so far to “Zero Dark Thirty.” [Fandor]

A second link to the Gray Lady today, but this interactive feature on the sound design of “Killing Them Softly” is a must for audio geeks. [New York Times]

Oscar hopeful “Searching for Sugar Man” won the Audience Award at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam this weekend. [Screen]

Nathaniel Rogers looks at the Best Actor race, and wonders if Hugh Jackman can become the first male performer in 40 years to win for a musical. [The Film Experience]

Makeup artist Lois Burwell talks about the process of turning Daniel Day-Lewis into Abraham Lincoln. Will she be Oscar-nominated for her pains? [Gold Derby]

While “Rise of the Guardians” disappointed, robust numbers of “Twilight,” “Skyfall,” “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” suggest Americans were thankful for the movies this weekend. [Box Office Mojo]

Anthony Hopkins talks “Hitchcock,” as well as his upcoming work in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” [IndieWire]

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