Critics Shrugged

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 15 2011 9:15 AM

Critics Shrugged

This was , perhaps, inevitable.

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The adaptation of the first third of Ayn Rand's novel -- I reviewed it here -- is as polarizing as the source material ever was. Critics hate it; libertarians not named "P.J. O'Rourke" think it's the best thing since Rearden Metal. Sonny Bunch points out that it's trading high enough at Hollywood Stock Exchange to suggest a $1.2 million opening on only 300 screens. That means critics like Roger Ebert may only have a limited amount of time to use the movie for critics of Rand's philosophy and plotting.

[N]ow I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault. I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand’s 1957 novel could understand the film at all, and I doubt they will be happy with it. For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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