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The Reeler Blog

O'Hehir: Out With the Old, In With the Old-ish

The good news today over at Salon is that critic Andrew O'Hehir hit whatever Gregg Goldstein has rationing through the holidays and produced actual reporting on an actual story for his readers. The bad news? You've read 90 percent of it before:

Mini-majors like Picturehouse, Focus Features (owned by NBC Universal), Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics and Warner Independent are where most of the genuine energy and excitement in Hollywood is found these days. These companies operate without interference from studio overlords, for the most part, and they're run by people who know and love movies. They also obviously benefit from the deep pockets and business clout of their corporate parents, and they have resources that smaller, free-standing distributors like First Run (or Zeitgeist or New Yorker or Palm Pictures or THINKFilm or a dozen smaller companies I could name) can only dream about. (First Run boss Marc) Mauceri argues that the mini-majors and their films, including Little Miss Sunshine and An Inconvenient Truth, should be viewed, at least in business terms, as "a side strategy of the Hollywood conglomerates. Those companies are able to take out half-page, full-color ads in the New York Times," he goes on. "That's not an independent film. That's not the business I work in. You might as well say that Flags of Our Fathers and Apocalypto are independent films."

So if such stating of the obvious last year from David Carr aroused me to start an entire movie site and dub him the Father of the Reeler, what does this make O'Hehir? The Impressionable Younger Uncle of The Reeler? The Earnest Cousin?

What's that you say? Excuse me? There's more? You mean "a whole Top 10 list"-more?

I hardly saw anything after about June that really rocked my world. Other than Volver and Pan's Labyrinth, the fall season's two obvious winners, almost every prestige picture of the last few months has been kind of a chore. Earnest, noble in intention, sometimes visually or thematically appealing, always competently made? Check, yes, all of that. But I'm sorry, that's not enough.

Yep -- definitely the Earnest Cousin.

(Illustration: Salon.com)

Posted at December 28, 2006 12:29 PM

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