Early-bird re­view calls up the dragon

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

One con­tro­very this week has greatly ex­cited film crit­ics. When at­tend­ing early press screen­ings, re­view­ers are of­ten asked to sign a doc­u­ment that for­bids them from pub­lish­ing re­views un­til the week of re­lease. Last week David Denby, long­time critic for The New Yorker mag­a­zine, de­cided to ig­nore an em­bargo and, three weeks be­fore the film emerges, filed his no­tice for The Girl With the Dragon Tat­too.

De­spite the re­view be­ing largely pos­i­tive, pro­ducer Scott Rudin re­acted with some­thing like naked fury. “I could not in good con­science in­vite you to see an­other movie of mine again,” Rudin told Denby.

Mean­while, in the Oldworld, Daily Mail film critic Chris Tookey posted a rave re­view of Steven Spiel­berg’s War Horse sev­eral week’s ahead of its em­bargo date. We are not aware of Mr Tookey be­ing ejected from the build­ing.

Con­trast­ing ap­proaches to such dic­tates have ap­plied on ei­ther side of the At­lantic. Amer­i­cans, more in thrall to au­thor­ity, tend to play by the rules. In the UK, the more prom­i­nent news­pa­pers (we’ll name no names) have of­ten, as­sum­ing they are too big to ban, run re­views ahead of sup­posed dead­lines.

Writ­ing on Twit­ter, critic Kim New­man com­mented: “It’ll be tough go­ing to screen­ings know­ing Chris Tookey’s been banned for em­bargo-break­ing, but I guess we’ll sol­dier on.” We smell irony.

That way lies dan­ger for blabby crit­ics: Christo­pher Plum­mer and Daniel Craig in the em­bargo-busted Girl with the Dragon Tat­too

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