On October 20 of this year, Roger Ebert published a glowing, four-star review of Sofia Coppola's third film, Marie Antoinette. It was matched by unvarnished praise from The Times' A.O. Scott -- "What to do for pleasure? Go see this movie, for starters" -- and The Los Angeles Times' Carina Chocano, who declared it "startlingly original." The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday went further, attacking the film's critics for having "missed the point." Entertainment Weekly, Salon.com, The Hollywood Reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Rolling Stone and others raved. My own review on Cinematical was one of the only times this year that I actually lavished praise on a film, and rightfully so. Now, both main critics for Slant Magazine have stepped up, each declaring the film to be among the best of the year. So, the question asks itself -- what gives? Why is the film absent from nearly every recently released end-of-year list from the gilded halls of cinematic officialdom?
Obviously there were some substantive critics who simply disagreed with those I noted above, but a quick look at Rotten Tomatoes also reveals a lot of shin-kicks from websites I've never heard of and lazy quotes from other non-opinion makers like Richard Roeper, who dully declares the film to be "dreadfully dull." Did they poison the well? If you are a critic or a serious film fan who disliked the film, please humor me by summarizing one or two points in the comments section below. Do you really think a film like Marie Antoinette should be shut out while dreck like Bobby receives the highest praise from the Golden Globes? Also, if Marie supporters want to turn this post into an ad hoc petition, feel free.