At the end of the comment thread for “The Haters Are Due on Maple Street,” which is about how p.c. zealots are doing everything they can to take down Peter Farrelly‘s Green Book, I wrote something that I should have included in the original piece:
“Isn’t every film finally about where its heart is, whether it’s been made in a 20th or 21st Century way?”
Not every great film has a discernible heartbeat of one kind of another, but the ones that people love and reference decades later all share that emotional seep-in thing —Ikiru, Manchester By The Sea, Brokeback Mountain, The Seven Samurai, The Best Years of Our Lives, La Strada, Call Me By Your Name, Au Hasard, Balthazar, etc. It really shouldn’t matter if the film in question is attuned to contemporary mindsets or to the way people felt and thought 20 or 30 years ago or whatever. All that really matters is whether or not a film knows itself — whether or not it’s settled and confident in its own shoes — and delivers accordingly. In the end that’s all that counts.
Back to my thread comment: “Whether or not the p.c. assholes want to acknowledge this, Green Book has a good heart and it knows from restraint and the value of high craft, and it applies exactly the right kind of just-so emphasis, the right kind of tone for this kind of story.
“God, I hate the p.c. zealots…I hate them the way Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz hated those nabobs.”
Glenn Kenny response: “‘This is a wonderful movie about humanity, compassion and mutual respect, and anyone who says different I wanna see dead’ is peak HE, I guess. This season’s meltdown promises much entertainment. It’s nice to see Jeff and Sasha doing the Jack Klugman/Anita Gillette bit from the “Quincey” anti-punk-rock episode here, too.”
Wells to Kenny: “Touche — that’s a semi-fair point. But of course, p.c. zealots aren’t ‘people’ — they’re radicalized rhetorical constructs walking around with arms, legs and heads.”