Many thanks to Paulzeye for the opportunity to answer very thoughtful questions about being a movie critic. I was very touched by his kind words:
Whether Minow’s busy being a mom or busy being the Movie Mom, one thing is certain: she encompasses all the qualities and virtues of the hard-working 21st Century woman. And her commentary is a reflection of her own persona: honest, sharp, to the point, and always very insightful.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Paulzeye: As a critic, you’ve seen a fair share of good films and bad films. How would you define a masterful or good film? How would you define a bad film?
Paulzeye: What are five films, new or old, that should be on every family’s ‘must-see’ list and why?
Paulzeye: People tend to think that being a film critic is an easy profession but surely it must be difficult to spend hours in a multiplex watching several films back to back and then reviewing them. Talk to us about that process. What’s a day at the movies like for you?
Nell Minow: Most days, I see only one or two movies. The independent and foreign films are most often in a little screening room at the Motion Picture Association building across Lafayette Square from the White House during the day and the big studio films are in the evening, in movie theatres with a couple of rows reserved for critics and the rest filled with people who won tickets on radio stations or other giveaways. I really enjoy the other local critics, who have become friends and colleagues. They make even the worst movies fun to watch.
Paulzeye: As a critic, what do you feel more comfortable writing about: a film that you absolutely loved or one that you absolutely loathed?
Nell Minow: Both are fine because they both inspire a lot of thoughts. The toughest ones are the bland and mediocre movies, because it is so hard to think of anything to say or any vivid way to say it.
Paulzeye: You’ve interviewed several important figures (politicians, actors, and directors) over the years. What are some of your most memorable interviews and why?
Nell Minow: I especially like talking to writers and directors, who are not interviewed as often as actors and who are more interested in talking. Some of the most memorable include John Irving, Jason Reitman, Randall Wallace, Mike Mills, and John Cameron Mitchell. One of my favorite recent interviews was with Martin Sheen for “The Way.” He is an enthralling raconteur and I could have listened to him all day. I was also very impressed at how kind he was to the staff in the hotel, introducing himself to everyone and really listening to them. Another actor I won’t name infuriated me by being very rude to the waitress and maître d’.