Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Paulzeye Interviews Me!

posted by Nell Minow

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?

Nell Minow:  I eval­u­ate every movie accord­ing to its aspi­ra­tions – oth­er­wise, every review will be, “It’s not ‘Cit­i­zen Kane.’”  How well does it meet the expec­ta­tions of its intended audi­ence?  If it is a silly com­edy or a chases and explo­sions film it makes no sense to com­pare it to an Oscar con­tender.  But, at its core, every movie should be grounded in the sin­cere com­mit­ment of the peo­ple who made it to do the best they can for the audi­ence they are try­ing to reach.  The one kind of film I really hate is the kind that con­de­scends to its audience.

Paulz­eye:  What are five films, new or old, that should be on every family’s ‘must-see’ list and why?

Nell Minow:   “To Kill a Mock­ing­bird,” “The Court Jester,” “Some Like it Hot,” “The Mir­a­cle Worker,” and “The Wiz­ard of Oz” are all clas­sics that have some­thing for every age and give fam­i­lies a lot to talk about.

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’.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bobbi

    What a lovely, thoughtful interview. Further clinical proof that you are a Goddess Supreme!!!

Previous Posts

Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore?
The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not

posted 8:00:58am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading?
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th

posted 8:00:40am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.