This weekend my boyfriend and I headed down to Cinerama where we eagerly plopped down $24 to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master in all its 70mm glory. 139 minutes later, we blinked at the rolling credits with a feeling I can only describe as, “well…that happened.”
Suffice it to say, we did not think it was quite the masterpiece that Paul Thomas Anderson and 87% of critics felt it was. While parts of it were quite beautiful and the actors did a fine job, it just kind of left me feeling a weird mix of indifference and a strong desire for a shower. However, it did get me thinking about other artsy, critically-acclaimed films that left a bad taste in my mouth. See, I am the sort of person who digs a lot of movies by auteurs that aren’t exactly “accessible” – David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg, Darren Aronofsky – and I certainly don’t shy away from a narrative that leaves a lot open to viewers’ interpretation. So when I see a film like The Master and react to it the way I did, I find myself wondering if I didn’t see the Emperor’s new outfit because my tastes aren’t discerning enough or if he was, in fact, as naked as he appeared to me.
Take the following critically acclaimed films, for example…
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