Who Is Todd Haynes’s Mr. Jones?

“Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Pulitzer Prize Winner?”Photo: Getty Images

Todd Haynes’s multifaceted Dylan portrait, I’m Not There, races headlong from one era to the next, rarely pausing — except for lengthy scenes demonizing critics who would dare question Dylan’s genius. Dylan himself addressed the question, of course, in “Ballad of a Thin Man,” where he sang bitterly of a critic named “Mr. Jones.” (Dylanologists peg Mr. Jones as either the Village Voice’s Jeffrey Jones or the fusty Time-magazine reporter whose disastrous interview with Dylan is reenacted in this film.)

Haynes’s treatment of critics is so vitriolic and Shyamalanian, though, that we wondered if the reportedly very touchy director had his own Mr. Jones in mind.

But we didn’t remember any out-of-touch, clueless pedant trashing Far From Heaven. Indeed, we checked — and, yep, the film has a 90 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Only, way down at the bottom of the page, there was one lonely critic who got drunk on his own wordplay, weirdly slamming the film as “a three-ring hellzapoppin’ Sirk-us” based on the kind of films you could never enjoy “unless you’re a guy dragged by your better half down to the Bijou, where you’d probably fall asleep and have a nice dream about the neighbor gal in a French maid’s outfit.” Yeah, that might piss Haynes off. Especially if it was written by a Pulitzer Prize–winning critic, like Stephen Hunter. —Logan Hill

He Likes Ike, And She Loves Raymond [WP]
Earlier: Pulitzer Prize Winner Stephen Hunter: Our Nation’s Shame

Who Is Todd Haynes’s Mr. Jones?