"Doesn't style count for something?"

"Doesn't style count for something?"
Critic vs. critic.
Jan. 7 2002 11:57 AM

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Hi Tony,

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I understand your point about A Beautiful Mind—you're saying it isn't true even if one doesn't know it isn't factual. But how do you discriminate between the kind of movie that must be true and the kind where truth doesn't matter? If the movie fully absorbed me and moved me as a, let's say, untrue fantasy, is my response invalid? I knew Rain Man wasn't true, and that didn't bother me. I knew I Am Sam wasn't true, and it did. Isn't there some kind of sliding scale by which a director can compensate for less truth by more artistry? Do we enjoy movies that are completely true but inept and boring? Doesn't style count for something?

Best,
R

Roger Ebert is the Chicago Sun-Times' film critic.

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