Letters from our readers
Letters from our readers
Popcorn & Politics
In the movie Syriana, actors want to show us how dirty the oil business is and how far they are above the fray. This coming from people who in general waste energy with their private jets, own beachfront homes miles from one another, and generally live like the rules don’t apply to them. Perhaps they are only using free-range or organically grown oil. That might explain how they don’t see themselves as part of the problem.
ROGER W. PECK
Long Grove, Ill.
I loved ”Hollywood Pulls the Trigger.” I was fascinated with George Clooney’s perception of art and politics. Clooney is a wonderful actor, a gifted filmmaker, and I’m a longtime fan, but his martyr complex is wearing thin. The climate of fear he speaks of is blown out of proportion. There was no shortage of celebrities speaking out against the invasion of Iraq, just as there was no shortage of right-wing pundits applauding the invasion. But to hear Clooney tell it, opposition to the war was expressed in the clandestine, hush-hush circles of Hollywood parties. In reality, in this country, we are free to disagree, artists are free to pursue their endeavors, corporations are free to distribute movies, books, magazines, and albums as they see fit, and Clooney is free to never hire me because I disagree with him.
I enjoyed your recent article about Syriana and the new trend toward challenging subject matter in popular film. But I must say that I was very disappointed to see that The War Within and Paradise Now weren’t even given a mention. Why? These two films are both excellent and deal with terrorism and war issues in a bold, brave, and human way. To not mention them does a great disservice to readers. If film can function to promote discussion and expose audiences to different global perspectives in a productive manner, then why ignore these two films? Why silence their voices? Why erase the contributions that they could lend to the public debate?
George Lucas says that he didn’t intend Anakin’s ”If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy” line in Revenge of the Sith as political commentary, yet people continue to insist that it is. The story line of Batman Begins involves terrorists, ergo it must be a metaphor for al-Qaeda. Could it be remotely possible that these films are simply entertainment, and not motivated by anti-Bush sentiments? Your interesting cover story on Hollywood’s new crop of controversial, politically charged films is weakened by silly inclusions like these. Next we’ll probably be hearing about the antiwar subtexts of Madagascar and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
I have been a rabid ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY reader since the first issue. Over the years, I have come to trust your movie critics and their opinions. I don’t always agree, but isn’t that what makes films great, the ability to disagree and have discussions? Thank you, Owen Gleiberman, for being one of the very few film critics to get Rent (Movies). Is this a perfect movie? No. Does it matter? No! This is the film for my generation. This is our story. Chris Columbus has finally made up for Stepmom, and Jesse L. Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia deserve each and every hurrah they have coming.
To the Academy
I read your article about the dearth of potential Best Actress nominees for this year’s Oscar race (”A Few Good Women,” News & Notes) with interest, and was astonished to see that three of the best female performances of the year weren’t mentioned — those by Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger, Claire Danes in Shopgirl, and Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice. All three of these actresses were critically praised, and I can’t imagine what kind of blinders Dave Karger and Missy Schwartz were wearing to have overlooked them.
It all comes down to this: I was both overjoyed and annoyed by your recent article ”A Few Good Women.” I was annoyed that there are too few actresses these days who can command the screen like Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett. But I was extremely happy that you guys were talking about it! Your story gave talented actresses like Bryce Dallas Howard and Maggie Gyllenhaal some of the recognition they deserve. It’s about time people start appreciating real talent and stop putting the Paris Hiltons of the industry on the screen! Thank you, EW.
New Hope, Penn.