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.