I’m presuming that the film critic successor to A.O. Scott, whose decision to shift into book reviewing was announced on Tuesday (2.21), has already been decided upon by N.Y. Times management.
If not, one presumes or at least hopes that the decision will take into consideration the fact that the woke worm has turned, the crazy current is losing its strength and that the Times really needs a sensible, snappy–phrased, Bret Stephens-like cineaste, or someone who doesn’t hold with the wokester criteria that defined the Dargis–Scott Universe essays of the last three or four years.
Someone like Variety critic Owen Gleiberman, for example. A seasoned diviner of great 20th and 21st Century cinema and certainly no friend of the progressive Khmer Rouge, O.G. has always gotten the whole equation and writes entertainingly to boot.
For symbolism’s sake if nothing else, they need to hand Scott’s job to a critic who doesn’t necessarily buy into the “Woody Allen is Satan” narrative, as Scott more or less did five years ago. That article was an ignoble Times milestone, and they certainly don’t need another agenda-tied progressive like Dargis. The readership has had it with that shite.
If the decision is between Times contributors Wesley Morris and Glenn Kenny, I’d much rather see Kenny fill Scott’s shoes. As an act of defiance if nothing else. Because if Times honchos don’t hand the gig to Morris their hides will carry an R brand, right?
I know or suspect deep down that Morris will get the gig but I’ve never liked him. He’s an excellent writer but also an arch know-it-all and a somewhat fey elitist. In 2015 he chortled at the brilliant Love and Mercy. having sneered at it during the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. Like a good little woke Trotsky-ite Morris tried to kill the harmless, warm-hearted Green Book at a crucial stage in the Academy voting game. (Sorry that didn’t work out!) Instead of honorably engaging when I wrote him a few years back with a challenging opinion, Morris shrieked at the alarming fact that I had his email address. Pearl clutcher!
Ray of hope: Word around the campfire is that Morris may not want the job, as he allegedly prefers being a critic-at-large. Covering the waterfront as the Times’ co-lead film critic is a demanding task, etc.