Really Late Movie Reviews

More

Taking a break from the bound society, I checked out Network last night, a film which many critics consider one of the finest of its era. It's a well-done piece, which, while satirical, takes itself seriously forcing you, for most of the film, to do the same. It didn't qualify as great for me because of a few moments of hamfisted, heavy-handed rants. 


The worst of these was offered by Max Schumacher at the end, who gets off much easier than he deserves. The film allows Schumacher (William Holden) to preen and lecture Diana Christiansen (a stunning and powerful Faye Dunaway) on her morals and ethics, when Schumacher has already invested in the same game. 

He's left his wife for Christiansen, and as she notes when they first meet, his own show was never exactly The Newshour. The result is that the last quarter of the film feels both too cynical and too softhearted. I don't have a problem with them killing Howard Beale. I just don't think Schumacher should have been allowed to walk away unblemished. I found Network--oddly enough like The Wire--to be at its best, at those moments when it was least confident about good and evil. 

Still, it's a damn good film that manages to make some leaps which are at once incredible and, within the galaxy of the film, believable. I enjoyed it. And it's a lot better then its solemn and overly-confident imitators (Bulworth, Bamboozled etc.)

This is my favorite scene in the film...

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In