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Liam Lacey’s Pithy “Thoughtfully Wrought” Is Pithiness Squared

In response to Liam Lacey’s 161‑word review of Nebraska on Globe and Mail

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Henry David Thoreau has a famous quote about writing that, when heavily paraphrased goes like this: “it takes a long time to make a story short.”

If this is the case, Liam Lacey has been working on “Nebraska: Thoughtfully wrought and built to last,” for a long, long time.

There is evidence to support this theory; Lacey chooses his words carefully and has delivered an awful lot of content in his paltry 161 words. You’ve got your synopsis, you’ve got your astute observation and you’ve got a concise, well-worded analysis at the end. Lacey handles it all with the panache of a veteran, stalwart writer, making every word count.

Some critics have the gift of pithiness, and Lacey is one of the best, giving readers exactly what they need in one sentence: “Some of the comedy (echoing Preston Sturges’s Hail the Conquering Hero) is oversilly, but there’s a poignant suggestion of a modern-day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and it works in a thoughtfully wrought film that feels more built to last than Payne’s last feature, The Descendants.”

However, even with the content rich writing, there’s not enough here for serious fans of critique to feel satiated. This little treat won’t fill you up.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation