Thank you NY Times for giving the brilliant Avenue Q its due with your story in Sunday's Arts & Leisure section. It was a good counterbalance to the useless A.O. Scott Cannes Film Festival wrap-up five pages later. Avenue Q is about to go down (in my book at least) as one of the best musicals to play Broadway and lose the Tony to a far inferior show. It will be even worse than Driving Miss Daisy beating ... well, every other movie nominated, and even more than a few not, in 1989. I haven't seen all the nominees, but I have seen the crowd-pleasing but relatively average Wicked (which will likely be the big winner next weekend) and it easily is more fun, interesting and creative than that dumbed-down crap-daptation of the novel by Gregory Maguire. (If you haven't seen Avenue Q, go. Now. No, no, don't wait. Go!)
But back to Scott's piece: it's no wonder the paper of record wanted to dump Elvis and bump Mr. Initials up to sole possessor of one of the most important positions in film criticism.
No ... wait ... I'm sorry. Scratch that. After reading his completely innocuous, ridiculous, trivial and flat-out boring piece, I seriously marvel at the fact that he has a job. I mean seriously ... what was that? What insight ... commonalities among films of dogs, food and sex. Wow. Maybe that's all he was able to create without use of his own personal laptop.
Actually, I did learn one important thing from Scott's article. It seems that he doesn't feel the need to actually sit and watch an entire film as long as he's able to "sample" it. In his opening graf, he writes about "... seeing 30 or 40 movies (or at least pieces of them) ...." Pieces? You're a critic, jackass. You don't see pieces. You're paid to actually sit through the entire movie. You're not allowed to walk-out if you don't like something. Personally, I won't walk out of anything. Yeah, maybe I'm a masochist that way. But I at least understand that even a movie with a terrible opening 15 minutes can get better, and vice-versa. And more importantly, any film (with the possible exception of those made by Michael Bay) has to be treated as a whole, whether one considers it high art or low "Hollywood." If Scott doesn't know that, he missed rule no. 1 of film criticism, at least in my book. But this shouldn't surprise me. It helps explain why his reviews often make no sense, genuinely lack any strong point-of-view, and usually serve as nothing more than a showcase for him to brag about how much he supposedly knows.