Wednesday, January 22, 2020Light Snow -5°C

9/11: The Film

Posted by Drew / December 12, 2006

New York’s Film Critics Circle weighed in today, declaring United 93 the year’s best picture. Chairman Marshall Fine reportedly called the film “harrowing” and a real “dark horse” contender. But the film’s victory seems a bit inevitable, given New York film critics' penchant for desperately tossing massive accolades at the film from the moment it got on the screen.

Sure, the film does not suck.

Like its TV movie counterpart Flight 93, the most interesting aspect of the film is its curiously sympathetic portrayal of its young terrorist antagonists.

But so much of the film is weak. The acting by a ragtag band of unknowns--so we, you know, don’t get distracted by watching, say, Lindsay Lohan run a dining cart into a terrorist’s gut—is tragically lame, all production aspects are ridiculously mediocre and in its desire for sobriety the film manages only a respectful dullness.

I would bypass both the 93 films completely and check out Sorry, Haters for a brutally fascinating perspective on 9/11. The increasingly farfetched plot action manages to be compelling, as the emotional and psychic energies that are driving it ring true, even when the events do not. Robin Wright Penn and Abdel Kechiche are amazing in the lead roles, developing an onscreen chemistry that can handle the many turns of their relationship: from a cautious friendship, to brutal betrayal, to borderline insanity, to quiet affection. These are performances that we haven’t seen for awhile: loose and effortless, in the manner of 70s film, think a young Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter. Sandra Oh pops up to do some memorable work in a peripheral role.

United 93 tries mightily to conjure up a sense of casual, everyday life suddenly and violently interrupted; Sorry, Haters does the opposite, casually drawing together the strands of the everyday under consumer culture—necessary discontentment, fear of failure, insatiable desires, and underpinning violence—until their own incendiary contradictions ignite—mightily.

Read more New York’s Film Critics Circle picks:



Omar / December 13, 2006 at 10:03 am
I haven't seen United 93, and of course, now I must see it, but from what I've read and heard about the film, I cannot fathom why it would get such a distinction.

Forget Muslim-American politics...why reward films outside of the scope of meritocracy? There have been all sorts of great artistic statements on the post-9/11 landscape, why an austere remembrance film? I guess I got to see it to judge.
Drew / December 13, 2006 at 01:42 pm
Yeah, the film is not even so much austere as it is an aching-to-be-accurate docudrama. Obviously not wanting to offend or sensationalize the makers stuck to the record as much as possible--and managed to shock and offend anyway, so some lesson there...somewhere...
golu dolls / March 21, 2019 at 12:52 am
nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 21, 2019 at 12:52 am
nice post

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto