Being a serious admirer of Julian Schnabel‘s films, it gives me no pleasure to report that Miral, his latest, doesn’t work. I thought about it all last night after the 6:30 pm showing, and I just can’t fathom how a guy who made a film as strong and moving as Before Night Falls could blow it as badly as he does with Miral. I thought perhaps the bad Venice Film Festival reviews were driven by the film’s pro-Palestinian viewpoint, but no — it’s about chops and flat writing and decisions that don’t blend or pay off.

I felt so badly after last night’s showing that I left the theatre without staying for the q & a. The crowd reaction was very flat when the end credits appeared — no applause, no buzz.

I don’t have time to throw a twelve-paragraph review together (screenings and activities beckon), but I’ll try to have something up by the end of the day. Maybe. I’m very sorry, but things don’t always work out. Art isn’t easy, but Schnabel will rebound. I was going to say “this is just a transitional phase” but what isn’t transitional?