More Bad Art Than Good?

At my house we’ve been watching the screeners that the studios send to Academy and various Guild members. As always, there’s more bad art than good. That is, alas, art’s way. Several of the films I’ve not yet seen and I already hate them because of their length. I say sight-unseen that The Master is a bloody bore. Not only is it eleven days long, but it’s by one of those make-it-up-as-you-go-along directors who knows everything of narcissism and nothing of story.

The movie I hated most is one I’ve actually seen: Silver Lining Something or Something Silver Lining, or maybe it’s Linings. Gag me with a spoon. Clearly the actors are ad-libbing–excuse me–improvising. Equally clear, as surely as actors earn a bonus for performing physical stunts, in Something Silver Lining(s) Something they earn extra cash every time they pronounce the F word.

Even the formidable, for the most part brilliant Lincoln, is too, too long. Tony Kushner’s first draft was-are you ready?—550 pages! And that’s to describe not ol’ Abe’s whole life but merely a handful of days toward the end of the Civil War. (Spoiler alert: at the end of the picture the president is assassinated.)

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