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Manohla Dargis Will Make You Want to Light Candles With “Gut and Sinew”

In response to Manohla Dargis’s 975‑word review of Out of the Furnace on New York Times

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Manohla Dargis lights up the webpage with wisdom and penetrating prose in the paralyzing “Fraternal Ties, of Gut and Sinew.” One may be inspired to light the room with candles halfway through the review, and allow Dargis to take the mind to new dimensions.

Gut and Sinew is brilliant across the board, but Dargis’s heavy analysis of Scott Cooper’s direction is the highlight of the piece. Not only does the critic address the filmmaker as “Mr. Cooper,” but takes the reader on an enlightening journey through the victories and failures of his techniques.

Dargis gently smacks Mr. Cooper across the wrist in Gut and Sinew for his cliched casting (Sam Shephard) and blatant robbery of past films, however she is fair to note how he brings everything together in an honest way. It’s a moving moment of the review, and the first-rate writing of Dargis only adds to the experience. The prose of  the critic is unmatched by her counterparts in the review game.

Gut and Sinew is pure critique, and Dargis never bores the reader with sections that could be labeled “plot summary,” nor does she rush through the character analysis. One will certainly appreciate the devotion to crafting each sentence with care, and the paragraphs on the main characters ooze with class and rich mahogany.

Manohla Dargis is a modern master of film criticism, and Gut and Sinew is yet another piece of essential reading by the great artist.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation