Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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The Ascendancy of A.O. Scott

In our film-fixated household, New York Times critic and onetime Bad Subjects contributor -- a frustrated one, alas -- A.O. Scott has gradually become the planet we are most likely to let our minds orbit around. Not a week goes without a few "A.O. Scott said ______ " conversations. And Kim and I both single his prose out for praise on a regular basis. When it comes to deciding whether we actually want to see a particular film, though, Scott has to share top-billing with San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick Lasalle. As Kim said the other day, while we contemplated Scott's dismissal of the remake of Assault on Precinct 13 alongside Lasalle's effusive praise for it, "Mick Lasalle is more of a genre person." Sometimes she's in a genre mood -- more often than I am -- and sometimes not. Deciding whether to prioritize Scott's advice or Lasalle's is a matter of determining what mood we're in. Anyway, in his piece critiquing the Oscar nominations that came out today, Lasalle did something pretty unusual for a mainstream film critic: he discussed a piece by his rival Scott on Sideways, the same one Kim referenced recently. I think this is a sign that Scott may have made the leap to another level of fame. He's no Pauline Kael, obviously. But he is becoming a somebody independent of the paper he writes for. More power to him. But check out Mick Lasalle too. He's been doing a great job for a long time.

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