Tony Scott’s review of “Seven Pounds” was so scathing that it made me want to see it — which is exactly what he was trying to discourage audiences from doing.
Frankly, though, I don’t see how any review could really spoil what may be among the most transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made. I would tell you to go out and see it for yourself, but you might take that as a recommendation rather than a plea for corroboration. Did I really see what I thought I saw?
I got into a towering argument with a friend over the holidays as to whether Will Smith was a great actor. (Not good — great.) She was emphatic that he was, and it’s a sentiment I was surprised that a lot of my friends seem to have.
I like Will Smith, but I remain unconvinced. He’s obviously likeable and charismatic, and while his movies are generally pretty enjoyable, they’re also pretty forgettable and more interesting to consider as movie star career strategy. He’s achieved the kind of celebrity that usually produces self-conscious overtures to “authenticity,” like when Madonna ridiculously started showing up in concerts strumming a guitar a few years ago. Right now, I guess, it’s Career-Defining Role time, in which he’s creepily intense and freaks out his co-stars by “staying in character.” You know, “Look, Ma! No CGI!” His deep need to be liked — everyone now agrees that they like Will Smith — has been supplanted by a deep need to be respected.
I also get this feeling that a lot of this Will Smith-as-great-actor talk is because black people feel a sense of ownership regarding their celebrities, and want to bestow upon them extra “legitimacy” (as if Will Smith being the world’s biggest movie star isn’t legitimacy). That said, Will Smith will almost certainly win an Oscar at some point, and it will be given to him not because he’s Frank Langella but because he’s an icon and well-liked and fantastically famous. And there’s nothing wrong with that.