Friday, August 12, 2011

Film Critic Dictionary - "Breaking New Ground"

Actress Lena Nyman from the Swedish film 'I Am...Image via WikipediaI'm done with movie reviews that feel the need to state/complain that a film "doesn't break new ground." How many films have you ever seen that actually "break new ground?" For that matter, when was the last time an Oscar-winning film was truly and unequivocally "ground breaking?" What ground is there even left to break? Critics who feel the need to state that no "new ground" has been "broken" are just grasping for a way to either knock a film they didn't like but can't effectively trash, or apologize for a positive review of a film that isn't quite up to art-house film-snob standards. You want to "break new ground?" Try reviewing a film on its own merits without trying to size up its overall importance when measured against the history of cinematic expression. A film isn't any less effective or entertaining just because it doesn't transcend modern cinematic principles or push the envelope on narrative structures. Let's leave this arrogant phrase on the heap with "Popcorn Movie" and "Guilty Pleasure."
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