Down with Spielberg
Oh Lordy I thought I had read the last article praising Spielberg, but here comes A. O. Scott:
In the past three years Spielberg has released three movies — ‘‘A.I.,’‘ ‘‘Minority Report’‘ and ‘‘Catch Me if You Can’‘ — that are not only, individually and in the aggregate, as good as anything he has ever done; these films are also, in the current artistic and technological circumstances, as good as it is possible to imagine movies to be.
Scott argues that the Academy in specific, and America in general, doesn’t appreciate Spielberg enough. What tripe. Here, I’ll give you the modern Spielberg formula: 1. Acquire control of a high-profile, B-genre script. 2. Convince A-list cast to star with a) your reputation b) points in an assuredly staggering gross, staggering because of a). 3. Hire John Williams to pour sap all over the film. 4. Inflate running time with self-importance, appeals to emotion, and Hallmark-grade moralizing: the criminal must yearn for good, the robot must learn to love. 5. Hand your name, the B genre, and the A-list star to studio marketing department, sit back, and relax. Spielberg is repugnant not because he is a man, nor because he’s a symbol, but because he’s a formula.