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Scott Foundas’s “AFI Review…” Never Quite Escapes the Furnace

In response to Scott Foundas’s 912‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Variety

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In “AFI Fest Review: ‘Out of the Furnace’”, author Scott Foundas delivers the audience from the depths of hell, then takes them back, then rescues them again…

For every positive in this piece, there is a negative that counterbalances it. Foundas seems to undermine himself at every turn; one minute illustrating a plot nuance in a new light, then next employing an overused analogy to dim the focus. The end product is a textual back and forth between the author and himself. The overall flow, combined with the passionate way he conveys his message, suggest it was not intentional for him to write in such a jolted manner. And it indeed gives this piece a modicum of redeeming value. But the fact remains this is a slightly difficult read that will pull the reader out of their comfort zone just as they are warming up to the author.

The other major flaw is the inability to discern the author’s ultimate stance. Although it’s fairly clear Foundas has deep admiration for the subject, this is in no way indicative of his final verdict. Hence, the reader must make that on their own in an unwelcome and cumbersome attempt to decipher recommendation or condemnation.

Likely, “AFI Fest…” will polarize audiences. Some will admire the author’s passion and appreciate his working class effort to convey the blue collar vibe of the premise. Others will be too turned off by the lack of originality to give it a chance. On the bright side, it is controversial, and that does tend to extend the shelf life of a piece. Hopefully, it’s not too controversial for its own good.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation