Learning To Drive

We don’t often stay in our demographic, The Boy and I. Early on The Boy established that he prefers good movies, and beyond that he was unconcerned. If anything, the sort of superhero/action/shoot-em-up type films are regarded with considerable suspicion (which is part of what makes his love of Fury Road so endearing). Give him characters, an interesting plot with suspense, don’t rely to heavily on the shock twist ending! and he’ll come along for the ride.

In this case, it brought us to Learning to Drive, the tepidly received (68%/68% RT) film from director Isabel Coexit (My Life Without MeThe Secret Life of Words) and writer Sarah Kernochan (Somersby, 9 1/2 Weeks). This is the story of Wendy (Patricia Clarkson, The Station Agent, Lars and the Real Girl) whose faithless husband (Jake Weber, famous for “Medium” but I remember him from his caddish role in “Mind of the Married Man”) finally leaves her for good. Her college-age daughter (Grace Gummer, Frances Ha) is doing some sort of back-to-earth thing upstate and the newly, reluctantly liberated Wendy no longer has the means to visit her because she can’t drive.

Now, “can’t drive”. There’s a phrase no one would self-apply where I come from.

Sam Elliot, The Stranger
But then, there’s a lot about New York I don’t understand.

Fortuitously, her husband breaks up with her in a public restaurant which, if I may interject here—what the hell is that? You want to avoid a scene? Seriously? “I’m going to split with my wife of 20-odd years and the mother of my child, of course I don’t want a scene.” Sometimes, you know, you got a scene comin‘ is all I’m saying. Anyway, the fortuitous aspect of this is that they have to take a cab home, and that cab happens to belong to the wise Sikh Darwan (Ben Kingsley, Gandhi, Iron Man 3) who happens to give driving lessons when he’s not being a cabbie.

It’s a kind of brilliant idea, in its own patriarchal way: Darwan, as a driving instructor, is somewhat stern with hard rules about serious things, but he’s patient, attentive, polite and supportive. So, of course there’s an attraction. But the movie throws a curve ball in the form of instantaneous arranged marriages which we are conditioned to think are wrong even as our own culture is strewn with heartbreak and divorce. This adds an interesting dimension.

Where this movie shines: The acting, sure, but especially relationship between Wendy and Darwan. Darwan is wise, but the movie holds back from sanctifying him. The stress of meeting his new bride shows cracks in his normally cool demeanor. And then there’s the ending, which I wasn’t entirely sold on but gave Wendy a chance to complete her character arc. These are strong enough that The Boy and I would warmly recommend it: It is the point of the movie and it’s done well.

Ben Kinglsey and Patricia Clarkson brave Manhattan traffic in Learning To Drive.
This is from the scene where they chase Joe Biden around, running into every Dunkin’ Donuts and 7-11 ahead of him.

Where it’s weakest is in its half-hearted salute to various clichés. Wendy has a sister, Debbie (Samantha Bee, who does some fine voice work) who actually utters the words, “Why do you think they call it a job?” after declaring oral sex off limits. They share a cackle and a “Men! Can you believe those guys?”-moment which is just awful, as is a later scene with Debbie leading to an awkward sex scene between Wendy and a Tantric sex partner.

This is particularly awkward because where the movie really falls down is in communicating the passage of time. Here, it’s common to do driving lessons in the course of a couple of weeks. Even at once every two weeks, ten lessons is only three months. Even if she doesn’t start them right away, she’s in the middle of a painful divorce. Since when is that a good time to be “getting back on the horse”, as it were, especially with a guy she’s mildly bemused by at best?

We were able to overlook this stuff, though, because the core of the movie is solid, sensitive, and it offers an interesting angle on the whole love, romance, marriage theme. We were glad we checked it out.

Samantha Bee and Patricia Clarkson prepare to gripe about men and sex.
This scene is the “What about that airplane food?” of the female-empowering movie.

Rififi (60th Anniversary Edition)

It says something about the French that a word for “rough and tumble” or “tough guy” could sound like the dance number in an American musical, but that shouldn’t put you off Rififi, which is a fine caper flick made 60 years ago, long before Americans had nipples. See, the thing about this film that could maybe ruin it for you is the lavish praise heaped on it. Which is a shame, because it’s good. Really, really good.

Music Man "Shipoopi"
Rififi, Rififi, Rififi, the guy that’s hard to get!

But what seems to have attracted the attention of the film critics is its “brutality”, and of course it’s tame by today’s standards, and didn’t strike me as particularly more brutal than the gangster flicks of America ca. 1940, from which it is heavily derived. It’s also got a drug-addicted character and the aforementioned nipples which, granted, is pretty edgy by 1955 standards. Although I can appreciate a film as a historical document, that’s separate from being able to enjoy it with modern eyes. And Rififi is more interesting, at least to me, in the latter sense.

o/~Singin' in the bathtub, gettin' nice and clean~\o
Robert Manuel and Christa Sylvain sharing a moment of ablutionary bliss.

Connecticut born Julius Dassin directed a number of classic American noir films like Night and the CityThe Naked City and the lesser known and probably non-existent And The Naked City Night, before being driven out of Hollywood for being a commie. He fled to France and changed his name to Jules, thereafter directing Topkapi, Never on Sunday, and this, perhaps his best film.

The story is classic noir: Tony has just been sprung from prison, where he spent seven hard years because some dame ratted him out, see? And his old pals are all glad to see him, knowing he could’ve turned them in to save his own skin, but they got this one last job, see? Well, Tony don’t want none of that, but then he goes to find the dame what ratted him out, and after extracting his revenge (by delivering a fairly mild beating), decides he’s gotta pay the bills somehow, so yeah, they’ll do the heist.

But they’ll do it his way. Going for the whole enchilada. Going for the whole enchilada, however, means bringing in a new guy—an expert safecracker whose only weakness is…women. See?

You’ve seen it a thousand times before. Dozens of those times in French. I defy you to be surprised at any point by the plot. But that’s okay. It all works. And it works for the obvious reasons: Acting, writing, camerawork and lighting. The acting is good: Our little gallic buddies pull off rififi pretty well. Well, Tony (Jean Servais, The Longest Day, Les Miserables) does, anyway. The other characters have more of an insouciance to them than a real toughness. In fact, the gang’s real trouble comes from crossing paths with a much tougher, more brutal gang of thieves.

But they’re likable characters, even though thieves, thanks to the writing. The plot is tight. Most of it greases the tracks to the heist, the rest sets up their characters, so we can care about their fates. The only really unneeded part of the film is the song/dance number which explains what “Rififi” means. (Apparently, the author of the trashy crime novel the movie was based on had made it up.) I understand the director had the regrets about including it. It’s kind of charming.

The move was successful enough for the song to warrant a non-literal translation to English. You know, instead of just doing a word-for-word translation, they try to capture the spirit of it, while making it rhyme and have good meter in English.

Rififi chanteuse
Yes, this actually takes up about 3 minutes of the movie.

Besides the solid blocking and lighting—though certainly not The Third Man quality, but what is?—there are two sequences that raise this movie from enjoyable caper flick to masterpiece: The heist itself, which lasts for at least twenty minutes, and is done without dialogue or music; a final desperate driving sequence at the end of the movie, also without dialogue.  Worth the price of the ticket alone, as they say.

The movie was banned in several countries for being a blueprint on how to commit a heist. Government officials aren’t very bright. But then again, neither are thieves who take their cues from movies.

The Boy was on the fence as to whether he liked this better than The Third Man. (On the one hand, every shot in The Third Man is a masterpiece. On the other: zither music.) When we went to see this, the “film broke” and interrupted us right at the end of the second act. And if you end the movie at the second act, it’s a happy ending! The characters achieved their goals and all lived happily ever after.

We actually came home and watched the third act on the television, which we don’t care for, but we had to see how it ended.. The third act is, as you might expect, dark. Real dark.

Johnny Got His Gun
How dark? “You’ll take me to Chuck E Cheese if you know what’s good for you”-dark.

Anyway, great caper flick, worth checking out if you’re not allergic to French or dubs. We always do subtitles but I suspect the dub is pretty good, given the classic status of the film.

The Second Mother

The artists of the free world have, more-or-less, been on a rampage of vicious criticism of that world since the height of the Cold War. As an American, it’s not hard to see in the movies, music, television, visual arts, and so on, scathing criticisms of American life and culture. In fact, it’s hard not to see such things, and celebrations of American life tend to be insincere mockery, especially of post-war America, when we went from the Heroes of the World to its greatest villains in less time than it took to actually Save the World.

What seems to be unique to American culture—or if not unique then relatively uncommon in others—is the constant barrage of messaging about how bad we are relative to other cultures. Europeans are supposedly socially and politically superior—more sophisticated—and former and current Communist block countries tend to be regarded well based on how closely they hew to their socialist pasts. Meanwhile, third world countries are at least granted a certain authenticity.

Foreign films can be so enlightening in this regard.

I love you THIIIIIS much!
Coffin Joe describes how much better Brazil is than America.

I refer you to my review for Le nom de gens as a classic example: A recent French film with a relationship which is edgy because, I don’t know, they’re not both pure-blooded French or something. It’s just a thing you’d never see in a film here, not for decades. Because, honestly, who cares?

Which brings us to The Second Mother. Originally Que Horas Ela Volta?, which I’m going to guess means “When Is She Coming Back?” or “When Does She Return?”, this is the story of a maid who fled her poor rural village—the back story reminds me of the ominous references made in Salt of the Earth to some trouble in Brazil a while back—to work as a maid for a wealthy family in Sao Paolo. She has a daughter (and abusive husband) back home, and she sends money to support her daughter, but she’s less and less able to get back. When the movie opens, mother and daughter have not spoken for several years.

But daughter shows up in the city because she wants to apply for college, the selfsame college that wealthy family’s son—the one that Val, our heroine, has raised and spent more time with than either of his parents, and more than she’s spent with her own child—wishes to attend. And while Val is meek, unassuming and as visible or invisible as her employing family needs, Jessica acts more like an obnoxious visiting cousin—a combination of her indifference/hostility toward a class-based society, the chip she carries from being neglected by her mother her whole life, and the fact that she’s a young, pretty girl.

The circle of laundry: You get clothes dirty. Your mom/maid cleans them.
The Ramones And Led Zeppelin are apparently the hot bands in Brazil these days.

She makes life hard for her mother, who finds herself constantly making excuses for her daughter’s presumptuous—primarily to the matron of the family, who is uncomfortable with her live-in servant having a life, and severely threatened by the presence of a young female who immediately commands more attention from her husband and son than she does. Karine Teles does a fine job as the bitchy, overbearing, self-important mother who begins to realize what she’s sacrificed by having her son raised by another woman.

The boys, father and son, act like idiots: The father more than the son, as he mistakes (as old men apparently must) an appreciation for his artwork and general positive, high energy femininity as romantic interest. The son is sort of shiftless, a pot smoking boy with no ambitions, and he’s definitely attracted to the somewhat older, ambitious-even-if-those-ambitions-are-vague Jessica.

Well directed and written by Anna Muylaert, who blocks some great shots visually highlighting the class distinctions. Way less creepy than some other films in this genre, like the grotesque (but popular) Down and Out In Beverly Hills. I was actually highly suspicious of this film going in, as its Rotten Tomatoes score is insanely high: 95% from critics, and 97% from audiences. This puts it in the same category as the nigh-unwatchable Gloria (although the audience scores on Gloria weren’t that high as I recall). It’s gentle and treats its characters like human beings.

I swear it looks like she's making the window dirtier.
It’s almost like they’re on the outside looking in. Almost exactly like that.

At the same time, it didn’t really resonate with The Boy and I because: American. As much as humanity seems to thirst for second-class citizens—people who you’re just better than just because—America has always been about fighting that kind of entitlement, which is why we’ve had such luminaries as the bastard Alexander Hamilton and Latin-school dropout (at age 10!) Benjamin Franklin. We really had a hard time imagining why Val shouldn’t be proud that her daughter didn’t adopt a second-class status. Movies like this remind that many of the places that are “better” than America still cling to these illiberal class social structures

Nice ending, though.

Fun flame war topic: Are Korean girls hotter than Brazilian girls?
I couldn’t find a still of the great kitchen/dining room shots, so enjoy this unrelated photo from the upcoming, unrelated Korean movie, The Second Mother.

Mad Max: Fury Road Redux

We see 120-150+ movies a year in the theater, and even so this represents maybe 20% of the films released in a given year, which means we’re highly particular about what films we see more than once. When you hear of people going to see the original Star Wars dozens of times, what you may not realize is what the hell else were they going to do?  I mean, in 1977,Roger Moore was James Bond, the 6th highest grossing movie of the year was a cheesy “Chariots of the Gods?” level documentary on Noah’s Ark, and we were seeing the emergence of the first Jaws knockoffs (Orca and The Deep, and we all know the two best things about The Deep).

Flotation devices throughout history.
PG used to be a different world, kids!

So, after you’d played all the Space Wars you could ($10 of quarters would buy you a full hour of play), realized the only thing on TV was the rerun of that Happy Days episode you never liked—and the Fonz was going to be amazing in his upcoming dramatic role in Heroeswhat else were you going to do?

I’m speaking hypothetically of course. I only saw it twice—the second time fully 9 months after it came out!—and didn’t like it either time. But you get the point: You used to check the theater listings to see if anything new had come out, only to see freakin’ Star Wars was still playing. These days seeing any movie twice means missing out on an opportunity to see a different good movie.

But as indicated in my original review, Fury Road was an instant candidate for re-watching. It’s jam-packed with lovingly crafted details that you could point out, especially on a second view when you’re not worried about missing the action. I won’t rehash my original review, but instead I’m going to make an entirely different point about how this film should probably sweep the acting Oscars.

Now, the acting Oscars are ham-handed affairs, typically. a Dustin Hoffman will win for acting autistic through Rain Man, but not a Tom Cruise, whose character has to undergo a subtle change into someone whom the audience doesn’t actively hate; or Marlee Matlin will win for her histrionics in Children of a Lesser God versus a Sigourney Weaver who has to keep her desperation in check before doing battle with the Alien Queen. The latter being more on-point as an example where a fine actress plies her trade in the spaces between the action—a much greater challenge (as far as demonstrating craft goes) than delivering a soliloquy.

Ripley with Newt and gun.
They say women are good at multitasking.

I still maintain that the words are the worst part of Fury Road, and the movie wisely eschews them for the most part. The character development then—and there’s a fair amount of it—is largely done without speaking, and often in split-second cuts. But it works!

The best examples of this are between Max and Furiosa. Furiosa is the lead character and she goes from seeing Max as an enemy, as a hostile traveling companion, as an ally, as a hero, and finally as a friend, and even a potential lover—with the transitions that are most certainly there but there without any room for slop. And there’s a kinship between Max and Furiosa: they’re driven by the same demons, but also bound by a sense of right and wrong. Thing is, they can’t possibly know that about the other without seeing it in action.

Charlize, Tom, Gun
The most romantic scene in Hollywood history?

And this is where action movies usually fail dramatically. First, they generally don’t care. There are black hats and there are white hats, and all right thinking people know to feel bad when a white gets hurt and good when a black hat does. (I remember watching High Noon and thinking, Well, okay, but what exactly are the bad guys gonna do? Raise taxes?) Second, it’shard: Charlize Theron has two seconds to give us an expression that covers surprise, appreciation and a wary respect when Max risks himself early on to keep the bad guys off his tail.

But Max’s initial responses could be driven by calculation toward his best chances of survival, so their relationship has to progress in the sort of painstaking tiny steps you never saw in a Nicholas Sparks flick. In most movies, this is done with words. But words don’t mean squat in a post-apocalyptic situation. You have to see the action that shows what side you’re on. Not only are words are cheap, they’re tough to hear over the engine’s roar.

I missed a bunch of these reaction shots first time through, as I did a bunch of very cool details. In the scene following the porcupine cars attacking the war rig, it ends up festooned with the wreckage on its lower carriage.  I missed some big stuff, too, such as when the one breeder jumped ship, she hadn’t actually turned coat, it was more of a double-agenting thing. In fact, a lot like the previous two Mad Max films, I found even the words seemed less affected than they did the first time around. (Part of that is the Australian thing. They have all that kinda cutesy slang even non-apocalyptically speaking. But you get used to it after a while.)

The level of attention to detail here is worthy of a Pixar film, and Mad Max: Fury Road not only holds up, it pays off extra dividends on repeated viewings.

Immortan Joe
And, guess who just threw his hat into the 2016 Presidential Candidate ring? “Shiny and Chrome ’16!”

Rosenwald

America’s full of rags-to-riches stories, or in this case, not-quite-rags-to-amazing-riches stories, and I seldom get tired of them. But Rosenwald, the story of Julius Rosenwald, son of Jewish Immigrants who parlayed a modest life as a clothier into mega-riches as the CEO of Sears Roebuck is only partly about that.

It’s tremendously fun to listen to how Rosenwald made bank in Men’s clothes and then seized an opportunity to invest in Sears, ultimately becoming the CEO through a process that was a 19th century version of creating Amazon.com. His people came from peddlers, who had to place all their wares on a blanket every town they went to. The idea of creating what came to be known as “the wish book"—the Sears catalogue—and then demanding that products were delivered as promised, and quickly, bears a remarkable resemblance to Bezos’ empire, only with roller skates and conveyer belts instead of drones and computers.

Sears’ IPO—the movie seems to claim this was one of the first IPOs, which seems unlikely since the very first one was Bank of North America in 1782 and Sears IPOed in 1906—made Rosenwald a billionaire, which brings us to the next phase of his life, and the movie.

In the second part of the movie, we learn of Rosenwald’s philanthropy, which was shrewd, effective, and humble in a way one can hardly imagine today. He was not interested in personal glory; many of his projects were given his name, but by affection, not officially. In fact, he seemed positively chagrined at the notion that he might raise money for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago while calling it The Rosenwald Institute. And so, it was never officially called that, but if you Google it, well, that’s another story.

This part of the film is also fairly good, and gets at the theme of the movie, which is Rosenwald’s contributions to the black community. In a time when racial tensions were possibly at their highest (pre-WWII), Rosenwald’s foundation built thousands of schools. Well, correction: Rosenwald contributed a third of the funds, a third of the funds had to be raised locally, and the remaining third had to come from somewhere else, presumably the surrounding white communities or state and local governments.

But then, rather brilliantly, with money in hand, the community literally built its own school, made it their own, and made it a focal point for community activities. Rosenwald actually suggested buying the buildings from the Sears catalogues, but Tuskegee University architect Robert Taylor insisted on this approach, and the two of them seemed to have a felicitous influence on each other.

There’s a digression here into Tuskegee University which is amazing. (Tuskegee, not the digression) Taylor designed TU to be self-sufficient, given that they couldn’t count on help from the outside world. So, not just construction and cleaning, but gardening, plumbing—everything!—was done by the students in addition to their academic and artistic efforts. That to me sounds like a perfect school. (In fact, I had that very idea for a school when I was in college.)

But, here’s the thing: The last third of the movie is just wall-to-wall digressions and tangentially related stories of people who Rosenwald’s fund influenced. Worse than that, they commit the crime of just listing off bunches of names of people. I wouldn’t dispute the greatness of the people on this list, particularly the ones they highlighted (e.g., Marian Anderson), and there are some moving stories told.

Still, it’s not exactly keeping the eye on the ball, narrative wise. Rosenwald died in ‘32, meaning that the last third of the movie deals heavily in stuff that happened long after Rosenwald—who cleverly sunsetted his foundation in ’48 so it didn’t become a monstrosity like Ford, Rockefeller, etcetera—had shuffled off his mortal coil.

The Flower didn’t mind this aspect so much, perhaps because the stories are not without interest. The Boy absolutely hated it. He felt lectured to, and he’s not crazy about lectures.

I had a slightly different take. Emotionally somewhere between The Flower and The Boy, I was more intrigued by the movie’s absolute failure to address the elephants in the room. And there’s a herd of elephants.

It’s perhaps unkind to note that the world all the commentators (John Lewis, Maya Angelou) are waxing on is gone, and they either helped it on its way or silently watched it go. I hate to get all judgy here, but a world where everyone is encouraged to achieve and advance on the same playing field is far preferable to what we have now: A world where everyone is encouraged to fail and beatify their failures by blaming others.

You can’t help but know that the teachers of the Rosenwald school would’ve slapped a kid upside the head for claiming grammar was a microagression. They were suffering macroagressions—lynchings, often deadly segregation, alienation from the general culture—and they overcame them.

Maybe that’s not fair. Rosenwald was a great man, and he did great things. But there’s a distinct break in what he did and where we are right now as a country, and the movie’s nod toward that is to be dedicated to #blacklivesmatter. Somehow it’s hard to believe that he’d be for a movement that promotes the random killing of police officers.

On The Scale:

1. Subject matter: Worthy, historical, and necessary.

2. Technique: Adequate to telling the story. Photos and historians for the earlier stuff, filmed footage where available. Music a mix of classic jazz, ragtime and "It’s A Wonderful World”.

3. Bias: Yes. And it’s the sort of bias you see a lot: The unchallenged assumption among the Left that The Good Guys Are Always On The Left.

They call Rosenwald “progressive” at a time when eugenics was the Great Hope for progressives. And what did he do? Well, he facilitated traditional education, emphasizing practical skills, self reliance and other things that today would probably be called Hebrewsplaining.

Hell, the whole thing was a classic libertarian example of private charity, with zero handouts—even the artists had to produce to get something—working with communities and churches, with the larger government only peripherally involved at best.

A lot of times I suspect the documentaries we see are funded to make sure the Holocaust is never forgotten, nor the history of Israel, and I suspect that this one was funded to try to improve relations between Jews and Blacks, which would be a good thing. Maybe in that context, the last third makes more sense.

No Escape

What’s a guy to do? You stick a big, fat anti-West message in your suspense/thriller, and still you’re accused of being racist, xenophobic, and just an all around jerk. Well, my heart goes out to John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, makers of fine fare such as Quarantine and Devil, who’ve crafted a solid potboiler about fleeing from a foreign city during a revolution, but made the mistake of not making the heroes Swahili and setting it in Seattle.

Hand to God, the first guy out of the theater after us said, “It was good! It was racist, but it was good.”

I wanted to stop him and say, “Hey, here’s a movie about Cambodian revolution, where one group of Cambodians is, by and large, killing another group of Cambodians (and also all the Americans), where the good guys and the bad guys are all freakin’ Cambodians—how is any of this racist?” But he was on his way to the bathroom, and these conversations never go well anyway.

It’s racist because it…uh…shows non-white people in a negative light. We’re gonna pretend that far worse didn’t happen in Cambodia not long ago. We’re gonna pretend that it’s any different from Les Miserable, for that matter.

‘cause it makes us feel good.

Oh, by the way, they don’t actually say it’s Cambodia, but Cambodia was convinced enough to ban the film. And, hell, their goal is to follow the river into Vietnam. I guess it could be Laos. But it was Cambodia.

Nonsense aside, this is, as I said, a solid film, in the mold of The Warriors, Blackhawk Down, ’71, or any of the multitude of non-Asian-based “trapped in a hostile foreign city” movies. The twist is, instead of a band of soldiers, we have poor sap Owen Wilson and his hapless family who arrive in The Unnamed Southeast Asian City six hours after a bloody uprising has occurred. Especially unfortunate for Owen and Co., the impetus for the uprising is centered around his new boss, who is in some sort of public utilities business.

This is one of The Boy’s (and my) favorite genres of films. Outnumbered, angry mobs at every turn, not knowing who to trust, and the movie starts out with a bang by putting the wife and kids in jeopardy.

It’s really a good gimmick, putting a family into the mix. I feel like we’ve seen it before but I can’t place where.

This movie has quite a few really excellent aspects: The suspense is pretty strong, especially at first. The characterization (despite what you may have read) is also very good, and is shored up by excellent acting from Wilson, Lake Bell (In A World), and the two cute little girls who round out their family. When the movie takes a break from the action, it fills the pauses with some effective drama and even realistic family moments. (Like your post-toddler having to go to the bathroom and being too embarrassed to go in her pants, because she’s not a baby! Oh, but if anyone moves, you’ll all get hacked to death.)

There are some missteps. Early on, when the family is contemplating jumping from one building roof to a nearby one, there’s an extra standing around who appears to have as his only purpose being murdered so as to show how dangerous things are.

The biggest misstep comes at the end of the second act, though, with Pierce Brosnan. Now, Brosnan shows up early on, and he’s obviously A Serious Dude, and Brosnan is certainly up to portraying a grizzled (yet handsome) mercenary/operative/super-spy/whatever. But tonally, his appearance deflates the real dread the film had managed to create. His character is too Hollywood, as The Boy put it.

His appearance signals what kind of movie we’re in and how it’s going to turn out. It didn’t ruin it for me, and The Boy was quick to say that he really enjoyed it—he just wanted more with all the potential that was there. We’ve talked a lot about that extra layer of polish and love you see in some movies (whether it’s The Third Man or City of Mice 2), and he felt that extra something was missing here. Left out in haste, perhaps.

I would still rate this higher than the 72% audience RT score, but the 40% score is just embarrassing to the critical establishment. Learn the difference between racism and justified xenophobia, guys.