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The Secret Life of A.O. Scott

The Secret Life of A.O. Scott

As a movie critic, you get asked a lot of questions — or rather, you get asked the same questions many times over. They include “Do you get to see all the movies for free?” (Yes); “Do you see movies before they come out?”; “Have you met any famous people” (Yes, although they probably don’t remember it); and, for some reason, “Do you get free popcorn?” (Rarely). 

That’s not to say they’re bad questions, or at least, not all of them. (Seriously? Popcorn?) So it’s kind of neat that the New York Times sat critic A.O. Scott down and asked most of them. The video’s not embeddable, so instead we’ve culled some of Scott’s answers and reverse-engineered the relevant questions, which were edited out.

Do you see movies more than once? 

No. Not possible given that the Times reviews 7-800 a year.

Where does A.O. Scott sit? 

Two-thirds of the way back, on the aisle. The former so he can see the entire frame at once, “as if I were looking at a painting,” the latter so he can slouch and rearrange his legs without bothering his neighbors.

Does A.O. Scott eat popcorn during movies?

No. It’s usually not allowed.

Does A.O. Scott take notes?

Yes, although they are sometimes illegible after the fact.

What is A.O. Scott’s favorite scene? 

The Trevi fountain from La Dolce Vita.

What movie has A.O. Scott seen the most?

The Wizard of Oz.

What about with A.O. Scott’s children?

Chicken Run, upwards of 60 times, though not always all the way through.

Is A.O. Scott competitive with other critics?

Scott’s “stiffest competition” is his “closest ally and best friend” and colleague Manhola Dargis. 

How does A.O. Scott think movies are changing?

The growing importance of foreign audiences will lead to more and more onscreen multiculturalism.

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