Tuesday, February 10, 2015

'Fifty Shades of Grey' Review

When I told people I was going to be seeing Fifty Shades of Grey, I got a surprising amount of responses that ranged from "Oh god, why?" to "Well, good luck with that" to "Yeah, that's not my kind of thing." Putting aside for a moment the fact that I saw the film because, you know, it's my job, I was shocked how quick some folks were to assume that the movie would be bad. I then, of course, wondered how many people would be furious if a critic went into a movie with such strong preconceived notions. This is an occupational pet peeve of mine: Readers expect us to be open-minded (which I work very hard to be) but don't apply the same standard to themselves for films they assume aren't worth their time.

So, with that said, let me tell you that I found Fifty Shades of Grey to be fascinating -- and I don't mean that in a coy, condescending way. That rare Hollywood movie that deals (somewhat) seriously with its characters' sexual life, Fifty Shades stands alone among the studio blockbusters. (It's also just about the only "event movie" based around a love story in recent times.) There is much to discuss about this flawed, ultimately satisfying film, and I go into all of it in my Screen International review.