As a former film major and employee in the film industry, I now find it hard to rate films.
Whenever I see a movie in theaters, I tend to think more highly of it than if I’d just seen it on my TV at home – there are more distractions available, particularly if I’m bored, whereas at the theater I tend to get a bit more engrossed in the film. This means my ratings are generally a lot nicer than they would be if my first watching wasn’t in the dark with a giant screen and the smells of popcorn wafting through the air.
I also have a hard time rating films because sometimes, even if the film is rubbish and the plot is rushed and the story sucks, I absolutely love it. Usually, this is because of the characters – I’m a sucker for characters and character development, which is one of the reasons I love Harry Potter so much. Sometimes I just want to go to a movie and be entertained.
Other times, I have a hard time turning off the film student analytical skills, particularly if the film is boring. I spent three years learning all the ins and outs of how to make a film and how to analyze a film to figure out why the director chose that shot and that editing sequence and actor, so sometimes it can be hard to turn it off. Hence the dark theaters, but even then…
What I’m trying to say is, I don’t necessarily care how “film pretentious” it is anymore; I just want to watch a movie and be entertained. I don’t care if the film will win lots of awards, because half of those movies are so boring I can’t go through the entire thing without refreshing my Instagram feed a dozen times. I’m not saying Nebraska wasn’t a good film, I’m just saying I wouldn’t choose it to watch for fun.
This is how film school went for me most of the time as well. We watched Citizen Kane in more than one film class, and while I understand its prominence and artistic strengths as a film, I don’t really enjoy it as a movie. I’m not going to suggest to Boyfriend one Friday night, “Hey, let’s watch Citizen Kane!” For one, it’s rather boring (shocker!!!), and Boyfriend will undoubtedly fall asleep – he’s an action movie kind of guy, after all, and not a pretentious film watcher.
While I still enjoy “films” – I’m predictable when I say I love Wes Anderson – sometimes movies are all I’m looking for.
From now on, when I review a film, I’m going to include two ratings, that of the “pretentious film snob,” and that of the “fun entertainment,” using none other than cats.