erik lundegaard

The Worst Movie Review of the Year, Part II

I'm sorry but I couldn't leave this one alone.

There are so many distortions in Kyle Smith's New York Post review of the film “Philomena” that it's hard to deal with them all. It's also difficult to extract the half-truth from the half-lies he's formed around them. But this one is easy.

Near the end of his review he writes:

Philomena spends the movie saying dumb stuff (at the Lincoln Memorial: “Look at him up there in his big chair!”), Martin is rude and dismissive, and we’re meant to laugh, I guess, at her being a rube and his being a journalist. You may be wondering why Coogan felt the need to play a cold and unpleasant a figure who isn’t (like many other Coogan creations) funny, but the answer is simple: Coogan hates journalists.


  1. Coogan is very funny in the movie, and identifiable. I certainly identified.
  2. Coogan, I imagine, hates bad journalism, particularly tabloid journalism, particularly the awful tabloid journalism revealed in the phone-hacking scandal that sunk News of the World in July 2011. His own phone was hacked, his own private life revealed to sell newspapers, and he's become a strong voice against the practice. He's testified before the Leveson inquiry into unethical journalism and has written Op-Eds for The Guardian about same. 
  3. The man at the head of the phone-hacking scandal, still unaccountable after all these years, is Rupert Murdoch.
  4. Rupert Murdoch owns The New York Post, for which Kyle Smith writes his reviews.

Isn't that nice? Look again at the deft, shoddy way Smith raises the phone-hacking scandal without mentioning the phone-hacking scandal. Which, of course, would point back to his boss.

Bloody awful, really.

Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

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Posted at 10:06 AM on Sun. Dec 01, 2013 in category Movie Reviews  


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