This is a real gem from Manohla Dargis’s Cannes diary:
“I’m leery of writing more because I don’t think the film has distribution and I don’t feel comfortable bringing the weight of this paper into the mix at this point.”
She’s talking about Atom Egoyan’s new film Where the Truth Lies (notes from the press conference can be found here) with Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, and Alison Lohman.
Manohla, please stop. If you’re worried about distribution deals and throwing the NY Times’ influence around, then I guess you guys will have to start steadfastly refusing to review those films in the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films that arrive without a theatrical release plan. And you should probably end the stupid Cannes diary and pack it up, because I hear that lots of films come to the croisette unsold every year.
Or, you could try being a film critic, show that you give a fuck about the medium that supports you and tell people what you really think instead of pulling punches. As much as I believe the “review digest” sites like Rottentomatoes and Metacritic are starting to dilute the 10-tons of influence you’re worried about tossing in the ring, you do still, sadly, write for the most important source for opinion on art films in the country. Use that power for good, not evil. You already called the film “interesting” and praised one of the lead performers two sentences earlier so the cat’s pretty much out of the bag anyway.