Aaaaand I believe we've now reached perfect DRIVE equilibrium, with the backlash reaching the same operatic heights as the original hype.Wait a minute... really? Apart from Glenn Kenny, who else has been "backlashing" this film?
Hmm, the story below seems to indicate the "backlash" is actually reflective of the audience, not the critics.
- - -The "Drive" backlash: Too violent, too arty or both?
The Ryan Gosling thriller has great reviews but dreadful word of mouth. Salon writers discuss what went wrong
Salon.com, September 23Post-Mortem: Why Young Guys Didn’t ‘Drive’
Younger males used to flock to such an original, violent, and stylized R-rated film that breaks a lot of rules. They didn’t. But now young guys who used to be Hollywood’s target audience are just not consistently (and indiscriminately) going to the movies anymore. The reason is either financial or too many other entertainment choices. That was the gist of internal conversations inside studios all summer when uncompelling fare like Conan The Barbarian, Fright Night, Cowboys & Aliens, and Green Lantern fell short with young guys. ”It didn’t dawn on us they weren’t coming to the malls,” one perplexed exec told me. “Instead, adults did.” . . .
Deadline.com, September 25
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: You'll have to better explain how "utter blanks" are not unpredictable?
I didn't say they were not unpredictable. I said the unpredictability was not "effective".
: In other words, it seems like you're saying "none of these points are founded! That's completely arbitrary!"
Not so much that they aren't founded, but they aren't really connected. Or something. If Gosling's performance had been better, then at least some of these points could have been "founded" in THAT, at least. But as it is, I never bought into Gosling's characters as a character: he was just an actor caught on film. Apparently Nathan and even Jeff, to some degree, had the same reaction.
: And you've raised this point twice now about watching "Gosling the actor" as opposed to "Driver the character." Well, I don't know, I could be wrong here, but isn't that a necessary possibility when he's playing a nameless, "utter blank?"
: In sum, I think what really worked for me with this film is how its irony/form/feel highlighted the silliness of many of the tropes often associated with the genre. In this way, it has us raise the sort of questions/points you're kind of railing against without directly addressing them.
Well, there IS such a thing as "the wrong question". I don't bother to answer questions that are rooted in false premises, for example. So while I don't know which particular questions/points you think I'm not addressing, all I can say is that the film could have done a better job of "raising" whatever sorts of "questions" it wanted to raise (assuming that it did, indeed, want to raise any).
: Okay, that's not persuasive evidence
of anything. But it is intriguing enough to make me suspect that it has something to do with his history.
Well, he used to be a boy himself, of course. But unless you can point to something more specific, anything beyond that is reading INTO something, not reading BETWEEN the lines or anything like that.
: I didn't offer a "reading" as in "I propose that this is his history, and here is my evidence." I offered an intuition. A hunch. A maybe.
Sure. But it's a hunch that you've defaulted to on a number of occasions now, so at a certain point I begin to wonder if that sort of reading owes more to the critic than to the thing being critiqued.
: But Punch-drunk Love
? Paul Thomas Anderson isn't the sort of storyteller to deliver a main character without having given some thought to his history.
Or hers, in this case.