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Todd McCarthy’s “Nebraska” Is Classic Film Criticism

In response to Todd McCarthy’s 1115‑word review of Nebraska on Hollywood Reporter

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Todd McCarthy’s “Nebraska: Cannes Review” hearkens back to the classical era of film critique. In this respect, McCarthy’s piece feels more like an essay than a review.

That’s not to say it’s stuffy or overly academic.

Using the film’s simple, dignified black and white cinematography as a blueprint, McCarthy has crafted a work that’s as understated and elegant as it is profound. The critic here is drawing upon a deep well of tradition established by the giants of the industry and McCarthy’s opus walks proudly through their hallowed halls.

McCarthy’s opening scene sets the stage for this pensive review and exemplifies what film criticism is about. It’s brilliantly insightful, well written, and it paints a picture of the film using only the most perfect colors and strokes.

Those choices inhabit the entire piece. There’s not a wasted word, an ill-conceived sentence, or a needless tangent to be seen. McCarthy makes sure every word choice serves the greater work and this attention to detail manifests itself in a stately prose that calmly and confidently dissects every aspect of this “wryly poignant and potent comic drama.”

McCarthy is one of the foremost critics working today and his work here deserves to be experienced.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation