Fans of Rex Reed’s usual nap-inducing work as a film critic for the Observer are bound to be disappointed by today’s eminently readable triple takedown of three movies featured at this year’s New York Film Festival. Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding, and Todd Haynes’s I’m Not There are “[p]retentious, rotten, incomprehensible stinker[s],” says Reed. “The uber-swill nobody understands that always gets financed by some chowderhead who hopes to attract enough self-deluded critics to fill a quote ad.” Yikes! Who spit in his martini this morning?
On The Darjeeling Limited:
“Mr. Anderson’s approach to filmmaking is from the same brain-dead school inhabited by Charlie Kaufman screenplays and the head-scratching direction of Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, and David O. Russell: Throw incoherent ingredients in the air, talk all of your Hollywood friends into joining the frolic and let the pieces fall all over the place with the camera turning. They all seem to be making it up as they go along, between visits to the catering truck.”
On Margot at the Wedding:
“92 minutes of screaming, pouting, weeping and vomiting in an ugly home-movie style that could set movies back decades… Mr. Baumbach doesn’t realize it’s a thin line between eccentricity and mental retardation… As unforgivably rotten as Margot at the Wedding may be, there is no excuse for any movie to look like cat pee.”
On I’m Not There:
“Todd Haynes’s kaleidoscopic tribute to Bob Dylan is a torturous two hours and 15 minutes of psychedelic gibberish… Headed for the No. 1 spot on my ten-worst list, I’m Not There is a tumultuous disappointment. Chopped and shredded into shards of avant-garde impressionism, the film is without a thread of narrative coherence. It’s a 135-minute Cobb salad, what I call jerk-off filmmaking. It desperately needs cutting, and they should use a hatchet.”
Wes Is More! Pretension Pollutes the New York Film Festival [Observer]