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A. O. Scott “When Greed Was Good” Reminds of When Critique Was Good

In response to A.O. Scott’s 1334‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on New York Times

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There’s a reason some critics rise to the top of the heap and others languish in obscurity. It doesn’t always have to do with talent; there are critics who write for giant publications whose work is embarrassing and there are a handful of critics writing for Moviedaddy. whose work is deserving of a bigger audience.

A. O. Scott, resident arbiter at The New York Times, is right where he should be.  

There aren’t many critics who consistently deliver the sweet, sweet juice the way Scott has done over the years. His take on the latest pairing of Scorsese and DiCaprio, “When Greed Was Good (and Fun),” is exactly what you’d expect—an entertaining, meticulously argued, sumptuously written work that sets the bar for (almost) everyone else in the field.  

It’s not perfection, but it’s close. Structurally, it frees itself of the constrictions of convention and goes free form. This could spell disaster for a lesser critic, but Scott’s extemporaneous riffing is always held together with strong, well-informed premises and skillful prose that never lets the proceedings get out of hand.  

The analysis tends to fly all over the place, but, for veterans of film critique, the chaos can be pure joy.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation