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criticWIRE This Week: "A Single Man" Leads Anticipated Field of Debuts

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire December 7, 2009 at 3:25AM

A super low budget entry from Werner Herzog, a not-so-low budget Alice Sebold adaptation care of Peter Jackson, the directorial debut of Tom Ford, and Clint Eastwood taking on Nelson Mandela. Only in December would we get all of these films coming at us on a single Friday. And to make your decision as to which option might be your best bet, indieWIRE's new criticWIRE, which features hundreds of grades for new and recent films from dozens of film critics and bloggers, took on all give films, with "A Single Man" leading in terms of critical reaction.
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A super low budget entry from Werner Herzog, a not-so-low budget Alice Sebold adaptation care of Peter Jackson, the directorial debut of Tom Ford, and Clint Eastwood taking on Nelson Mandela. Only in December would we get all of these films coming at us on a single Friday. And to make your decision as to which option might be your best bet, indieWIRE's new criticWIRE, which features hundreds of grades for new and recent films from dozens of film critics and bloggers, took on all give films, with "A Single Man" leading in terms of critical reaction.

More than 100 film critics and bloggers, so far, now have their own pages on the indieWIRE site. The new criticWIRE section includes RSS feeds and links for the individual writer's blog, website and Twitter account, as well as grades for current films and direct links to reviews they've written. The list of critics and graded films will continue to grow, leading up to our annual indieWIRE Critics Poll later this month.

"A Single Man" was adapted by Ford and David Scearce from Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel of the same name, regarded as one of the first and finest novels of the early gay liberation movement. A meditation on love and death and isolation, it follows a single day in the life of George (Firth), a middle-aged gay Englishman working as a college professor in 1962 Los Angeles. His longtime lover, Jim (played by Matthew Goode in a series of flashbacks) has recently died in a car accident, and as a result George is the midst of self-destruction.

The film averaged a "B+" grade from criticWIRE's members, with grades divisively ranging from 10 "A" level grades to 5 "C" level grades. Representing the former opinion, Eric Kohn writes in his indieWIRE review that "Ford’s project spins on witty writing and a couple of performances strong enough to give the beauty depth."

While "A Single Man" topped criticWIRE this week Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" averaged the lowest grade, and was also the most divisive film in our 300-film wide database. It managed a rare "F" from critic Karina Longworth, and "D" level grades from 3 others, but then also received "B+"'s from numerous critics.

Check out the links below for further takes on both "A Single Man" and "The Lovely Bones" as well as the consensuses on "Invictus," "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done," and dozens of films that recently opened in theaters. Grades will continue to be added throughout the week, so please check back.

iW Film Calendar & criticWIRE:
criticWIRE | Opening this week | Opening this month | All Films A - Z

criticWIRE: Films Opening This Week

A Single Man (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Invictus (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

The Lovely Bones (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C


criticWIRE: Films Currently In Theaters

La Danse (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

Defamation (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Fantastic Mr. Fox (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Up In The Air (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Before Tomorrow (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

The Sun (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

The Messenger (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

The Road (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

That Evening Sun (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Brothers (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Red Cliff (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Broken Embraces (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Precious (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Uncertainty (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Me and Orson Welles (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Dare (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

Pirate Radio (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C

Everybody's Fine (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C

Serious Moonlight (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C

Mammoth (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C-

This article is related to: In Theaters, The Lovely Bones






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