Saturday, September 4, 2010

'American' Splendor

I'm loving the delicious reviews George Clooney's decidedly un-American drama "The American" is generating. It's a polarizer, this one -- uneventful, yet memorable; boring, yet beautiful.

Three of my favorite critics offer three significantly different takes on the film, one praising it up and down, one landing just north of the middle, and one tearing it to pieces. They are great reads all.

(And, oh, do I love that poster)

Roger Ebert writes the most glowing review out there, focusing on the film's head-turning nuances ("Mr. Butterfly," you say?) and crafting some of his loveliest sentences in months.

Assuming what seems to be the popular position, A.O. Scott can't quite commit to loving the movie, and offers perfectly balanced reasons why you shouldn't miss it and why you'll be perfectly forgiven if you do (and he, like Ebert, admires the film's impeccable craft).

And Kyle Smith -- for my money the funniest critic working today -- skewers the film like a world-class roaster. Even if your take is the polar opposite of his, Smith's observations are always hyper-informed and fall-on-the-floor hilarious. My favorite bits from this new piece involve Lady Gaga, Lite-Brite and someone named Jorg Clooné.

My review of "The American" will be posted next week.

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