Saturday, May 20, 2006

getting people to see united 93

Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman is only scratching the surface of a worthy debate, but he raises a good point about the so-called "small-scale success" of the terrific, harrowing docudrama, United 93. Was it, in fact, a bad idea to make the movie seem like such a tough night at the theater?

All [the media's] talk of ''lowered expectations'' may have been an accurate barometer of United 93's ultimate fortunes, but it had the effect of marginalizing the movie before it was even released -- making it sound like something that no ''normal'' American would ever want to see. In a sense, many of us in the media became enablers, telling our viewers and readers, in essence, ''It's okay. Movies aren't supposed to be this painful.''
I also can't help but wonder if lack of stars didn't help lessen the film's visibility.