Monday, July 22, 2024

Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” Stars Screening, Critics With Embargoes Can’t Keep Quiet


The last big movie of this season has begun screening, albeit in a strange way. On Wednesday, some critics saw the Scorsese movie “Silence” in order to vote in the New York Film Critics awards which will unravel on Thursday morning. Other Los Angeles critics will see the movie on Sunday. New York critics and press won’t see it until next Thursday.

The people who saw it today are supposedly under an embargo, but they couldn’t stay Silent, get it? The gist of 9 different Tweeters is that “Silence” is beautiful but not earth shaking. One critic said it was a “Faith based film” which is code for boring. Another said “temper expectations accordingly.” So, really, some kind of cat is out of the bag.

What “Silence” doesn’t sound like is competition for the Oscar movies already in place– “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Lion,” “Moonlight,” “Fences,” and so on. Scorsese has been down this road before. His “Kundun” was also a labor of love, but didn’t go gangbusters like “The Wolf of Wall Street.” But “Silence” is still hotly anticipated, no matter what Scorsese has wrought. This could be a slow cooking masterpiece.

But it’s interesting that “Silence” was shown to priests at the Vatican, and for the New York Film Critics, but not made available for the Critics Choice Awards. We voted yesterday without seeing it, and the results will be announced here Thursday at 9:30am EST.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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