Marshall Fine Sits Down for a Chat in “The Counselor”
By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic
Fans of Marshall Fine will be pleased. “The Counselor: Out of Order” has all the hallmarks of legendary critic Fine’s work; straightforward, transparent and often personal missives that manage to be simultaneously breezy and profound.
In many ways, Fine’s Counselor is the antithesis to Cormac McCarthy’s (who provides the script for the film) dark prose. Where McCarthy’s work is unflinchingly bleak, Fine’s is upbeat and effortlessly charming, which has worked for him for many years.
It stands in stark contrast to the pompous, self important epistles that typify film critique and it makes for a refreshing change of pace. But don’t mistake (as many do) unsophisticated for artless. There’s artfulness here, just not the grandiose kind.
Fine sometimes catches flak for injecting himself too much into his reviews (which is an odd critique for this style) but detractors will be happy to know that Fine makes nary a cameo in Counselor.
Fine has never been capable of guile and you’ll find nothing different here. He’s amiable as always as he breaks down the new Ridley Scott film, praising Michael Fassbender for “show[ing] another layer of what is obviously a deep talent”, but ultimately McCarthy’s “self-importance combined with Scott’s make an uncomfortable fit.”