It’s part of the fate of film critics to face a special, sometimes brutal judgment at the gates of St. Peter when they die. Did they diss, ignore or under-value a film they knew was honorable in an exceptional, raising-the-bar sort of way — a movie that unquestionably enhanced the lore of movies as providers of bracing reality baths and deliverers of spiritual revelation — because it didn’t provide familiar comfort in the form of reassuring “movie moments”?
Those critics who are found guilty will be denied entrance to heaven and sent back to earth to try again. Call me an Old Testament sort of guy if you want, but I believe that every critic or blogger-columnist who dismissed Steven Soderbergh‘s Che at Cannes last May because it was too long and wasn’t reassuring enough in terms of conventional drama and emotional whatevs will, I humbly submit, face such a judgment. They will, however, be given a chance to redeem themselves in Toronto. Knowing of the human capacity for frailty and missing the boat, God has decided to cut them some slack.