Be Kind Rewind

In theaters.

It’s times like this that I feel like a killjoy. Be Kind Rewind is a terribly sweet movie with a good heart, and my argument against it boils down to “Sweet isn’t good enough.” That sounds cold, even to me, but damn, it’s true, and truth be told, it makes me a little bit angry. Writer-director Michel Gondry squanders his story’s vast potential and his own visual ingenuity on treacle: it may be sweet, but it’s all empty calories, and it’s not nearly as rich as it could have been.

The 80th Annual Academy Awards

Sunday, February 24.

When it comes to artistic works—movies, books, composers, bands—I prefer to think in terms of favorites rather than best. Favorites is more honest. It acknowledges the undeniable, inevitable, wonderful subjectivity of evaluating art, of ranking it as though it were something one could measure with a ruler or a stopwatch. Judging between extremes is easy enough, but attempting to weigh this very good thing against that very good thing always seems silly to me.