MGM marketing vp Mike Vollman has replied to the Newark Star Ledger‘s Stephen J. Whitty about the latter’s 11.26 piece called “Valkyrie Surrenders,” in which Whitty posted what seemed like a logical interpretation of MGM’s decision not to show the Bryan Singer-Tom Cruise World War II thriller in time for possible critics awards contention (or for consideration by National Board of Review) by not screening it for junket journalists until December 12th, or to regular critics until December 15th.

“We have a great, strong, commercial movie and are quite proud of it,” says Vollman. “It is also the type of movie that will be deserved of intelligent critical analysis.

“What it does not deserve is to be slammed into the devastatingly cramped and arbitrary year-end critical-awards battles. When did a December release date mean that a film exists first and foremost for award consideration? And when did film criticism become a competitive sport, with deadlines, rankings, winners and losers.?

“We want Valkyrie to be judged on it’s own, not as one of a cramped herd of dissimilar artistic endeavours lumped together unfairly due to the vagaries of the calendar and the marketplace. Valkyrie is eligible for every guild honor, from ampas to ves, and will be on every single nomination ballot. If members of the entertainment community wish to honor it, they will be able to do so. We hope they do as the work is excellent and deserves recognition.”