March 15, 2010

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Newsweek's Ilana Ozernoy on "Green Zone":

"In the end, though, it is not the details that do this film in; it's the setup. Greengrass shows us very well that it was stupid to allow the looting, that de-Baathification and dismantling the Army were bad ideas, and that all of it led to the insurgency. But then he tells us that we still might have accomplished the mission had one man—one rogue, truth-seeking officer—tracked down a little black notebook whisked away by a Saddam loyalist. In other words, Paul Greengrass compresses the complexity so painstakingly assembled by Chandrasekaran into one notebook that contains one secret that reveals the one important source that only one journalist discovered after speaking to one evil administration official. But in the real Iraq, there were many secrets, many heroes, many villains and accomplices (witting and unwitting), and plenty of good and bad journalism.... In the end, the film felt like a stylized revenge fantasy—a poor man's Inglourious Basterds."
Another big moment in the movie that rang totally false: at the end, Matt Damon's hero runs up to Greg Kinnear's Bushie villain and yells at him, as the Judith Miller stand-in and a few other journalists stand around and stare from far away. Bullshit. I know journalists- they love conflict. If a soldier ran over to, say, Scooter Libby in 2003 and started pointing his finger at his chest and yelling at him, every reporter in the room would have run right over, notebooks in hand.

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 15, 2010 11:32 AM
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