I generally like Wesley Morris and I've yet to see Out of the Furnace. Judging by the many bad reviews, I expect it won't be good. But I'm a little sick of this charge made by movie critics:
These vacuous, grim, sometimes grisly movies want to speak to the troubles and fears of our times. But to even have a chance at achieving that, a director ought to care about life as it's lived outside the movies he's seen.It's a familiar charge by critics and others that the filmmaker hasn't "lived enough" and lives inside only movies. We've all heard it many times. It's been lobbed upon every lousy student film by faculty in addition to filmmakers like Tarantino and the Coen Brothers. I think's it's a bullshit charge because it can apply equally to lousy films and great ones. I mean, does anyone think a young George Lucas had "lived enough" when he created Star Wars? I can't imagine the early Coen Brothers were all that experienced in life. I just think it's an easy thing people say when a film is lousy (or they don't like it) because the charge cannot be refuted or debated. Oh...you simply live in a world of movies, therefore your movies only reflect other movies...as if the only guy who should direct a film is The Most Interesting Man In the World.
Anyhow, movie critics lobbing this charge strikes me a bit as the pot calling the kettle black.