When New York ran into Sarah Polley the other night at the Film Critics Choice Awards, we asked the Away From Her director if she’d ever confronted a critic who had given her a bad review. “Yeah, I have,” she laughed. “He came to a press lunch for a film that I knew he hated, because there was really good free food, and it was in Cannes. He was kind of famous for doing that. And so I sort of confronted him on how much food he had on his plate; not necessarily about the review, but just how gluttonous he was.” How did he react? “He was pretty good-natured about it,” she said. “We actually ended up becoming friends.” Oh, yeah? So … who was it? She wouldn’t say. We tried another tactic: Was the film one she directed or one she was in? “It was a film I was in,” she said, before floating off in that ethereal way she has. And so we put the question to you, dear readers. Who was the freeloading film critic shamed by Sarah Polley? To help you guess, after the jump, we’ve compiled some choice lines from reviewers who haven’t exactly fallen at her feet.
•William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “Despite several touching scenes, the script comes perilously close to being maudlin and, while competent, Polley doesn’t have the flair to make anything special out of her big role.” For My Life Without Me.
• Kyle Smith, New York Post: “This is the Diet Coke of existentialism. One calorie. Not existential enough.” For Don’t Come Knocking.
• Peter Henne, Film Journal International: “The biggest flaw is the film’s patent lack of a life pulse.” For eXistenZ.
• Stephen Holden, New York Times
“Visually majestic but dramatically inert.” For Don’t Come Knocking.
Put your guesses and additions in the comments!