Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another little thing

I love Roger Ebert. But there's no denying that sometimes he misses things - sometimes little, sometimes not. He said Muntz in Up had "robotic dogs". He said Jeremie in Summer Hours was moving to Hong Kong; it was Beijing. In his review of A Life Less Ordinary he misidentified a character's father as "a friend". He really didn't grasp warp drive and the size of the universe in Star Trek, nor did he catch that when the drill was operating it meant that transporters didn't work. And in his review of Beginners he shows that once again he missed an exchange:
One of the pleasures of "Beginners" is the warmth and sincerity of the major characters. There is no villain. They begin by wanting to be happier and end by succeeding. The person left out is the dead mother, Georgia. She spent years in a pointless marriage. If Hal and Georgia were sticking it out for the sake of Oliver, that doesn't seem to have turned out well. And once he was an adult and had left home — why did they persist? Did Hal lack the moral courage to declare himself? He could have been happier years sooner, and she could have had her chance, too. Hal is not quite as nice as he seems.
Hal explicitly, in so many words, told Oliver that Georgia knew he was gay all the time and insisted on marrying him anyway, believing that she could "fix" him. Hal was perhaps nicer than he seems, and Georgia more self-deluded than anything else.



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