Welcome to my film critic's blog! A lifetime of loving movies has enabled me to do this. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Movie lover diary: To like or not to like

My mom tells me I loved movies even as a baby. Long before I could talk, I used to sit entranced in her arms at the cinema. Thinking about that makes me believe I was meant to love films long before I knew that I did.

I bring it up now because I've been doing a lot of thinking about taste. Like or dislike for flicks is very subjective and critics cannot really agree on what makes a movie likable. So does a refined taste come from practice and a discriminating palate like fine wine? A movie critic recently told me that the quality of films has plummeted in recent years and she hates most of what she sees at the cinema.

I can see where that critic is coming from but I guess I'm just different. I always go in with an open mind and hope to have a positive experience. It's not because I think I need to promote movie-going or be an advocate for the cinema. It's just that I tend to enjoy the good parts of most movies that I watch. Sure there are some that are just plain awful with zero redeeming qualities but I don't need Oscar-level quality to satisfy me.

I just need a motion picture to make me feel something and make me see what the filmmaker was seeing when he was creating it. I'll still notice the negatives but I also make sure I don't disregard the positives because of them.

I guess for movies in particular, taste really is not simply what the Academy Awards tell us it should be. I think being on the positive side of the enjoyment fence is just as legitimate as many of the critics that enter screenings thinking of them as shooting ranges.

Let me illustrate. Two critics pick a 100 random films from a bin and watch them. Critic A enjoys 30 of them and hates the others. Critic B enjoys 82 of them. Does that mean Critic A has better taste than B? No. It just means Critic B has a different way of looking at movies than A and his perspective is just as valid.

Just some food for thought.