What lesser-known film deserves time in the spotlight? Lisa Schwarzbaum answers this and other reader queries

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated August 13, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: All the Real Girls: Sony Pictures Classics
  • Movie

What lesser-known film deserves time in the spotlight?

Imagine that you are God — or a Weinstein — and you have the power to bestow fame on the makers of a worthy, lesser-known film. Who deserves time in the spotlight? I’m partial to the cast and crew of ”All the Real Girls.” — Kathleen Szabo
No argument from me: ”Girls” director David Gordon Green deserves generous applause and a generous budget for anything he and his team have a mind to do. (His new thriller, ”Undertow,” comes out in the fall.) But the beneficence of Miramax isn’t the answer to all prayers, especially those of a filmmaker who, like Green, thrives best when left alone, unpruned and unpackaged. In a heaven of my design, an impressive emerging talent like director Jacob Estes and the cast of ”Mean Creek” (opening in the next few weeks) would be rewarded with time in the spotlight, financing, and blessed freedom.

You may be able to set aside your own political views (Ask the Critic, #775, July 23) when reviewing films, but how do critics who are years older than the target audience get inside the heads of teenagers and young adults? — Max Goodman
Who can find crawl space inside a teenager’s head, what with all the weird junk piled up there? Personally, I don’t think the job of any critic is to get inside anybody’s cranium — not that of teens, chicks, comic-book fanboys, not even of middle-aged art-house regulars who never miss a Finnish gem by Aki Kaurismaki. Rather, I think a good critic needs to be able to analyze what a movie is trying to do and then assess how well it fulfills its aims — a job for which movie-going experience beyond young adulthood is necessary.

(Got a movie-related question for Lisa or Owen? Post it here.)

All the Real Girls

  • Movie
  • R
  • 108 minutes
  • David Gordon Green