As much as I tell myself I’m Lee Marvin, the truth is that sometimes I’ll cave in to peer pressure and follow the crowd. And when I do that I’m usually a bit sorry. Which is to say not always. But today I am.

After seeing Ben Lewin‘s The Surrogate at 8:30 am, recording a special Oscar Nomination Announcement Oscar Poker with Sasha Stone and then tapping out a three-paragraph Surrogate review, I caught a 1 pm screening of Craig Zobel‘s Compliance. The plan after that was to go to Joe Berlinger‘s Under African Skies at 3 pm and then bail at the 75 minute mark so I could see Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed, which James Rocchi told me I should see.

But when I went into the press tent at 2:50 pm to show my pass I noticed that a huge crowd was waiting to see Bart Layton‘s The Imposter, and that almost no one was lined up to “the Berlinger,” as David Denby would put it. Did I shrug my shoulders and say “whatever, my path is set”? No — I figured the big crowd must know something I don’t so I bailed and went to The Imposter instead. And within 30 minutes I began to feel bored. (Angelina Jolie knew the returned kid wasn’t her kid in The Changeling, so why didn’t the San Antonio, Texas, family that lost their son recognize the same kind of fraud? I would have.)

And so I quit and went to a Mexican restaurant and did a little work, and then I tried too late to get into Safety Not Guaranteed — “Sorry, sir, but the theatre is full.” So the whole plan went down the tubes. At least I’ve used the spare time to do some filing.

The plan tonight is to see James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer at the Eccles at 6:30 pm, and then Beasts of the Southern Wild at the MARC (formerly the Raquet Club) at 8:30 pm.