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Matthew Odam Tells the Story of Nebraska in “Manage Comedy”

In response to Matthew Odam’s 876‑word review of Nebraska on Austin American-Statesman

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Matthew Odam takes off the critic hat in his latest piece, “Nebraska stumbles at time as it tries to manage comedy and drama (Our grade: B),” and takes the story-telling approach by recounting the events of the film. The audience will surely be pleased by a line or two of actual film criticism, however the critic seems to be more concerned about describing. It’s a rare technique that can sometimes lead one to believe that they haven’t read an analysis-free review.

Odam never produces a clear statement on the film in Manage Comedy. He simply writes away like a man on a mission. Unfortunately, the mission is apparently to bore readers with a massive plot summary. Director Alexander Payne is noted early on as being the director, but the critic never acknowledges any of his actual directing skills. One may whisper out “Payne Fail” while reading the snoozer.

Midway through Manage Comedy, Odam turns into a movie review magician by quickly flashing critique to the audience and then makes it disappear. The small dose of character analysis only teases the reader, and Odam returns to summarizing the contents of the film.

One may find comfort in the fact that the critic doesn’t describe all the way to the end of Manage Comedy, however the final two paragraphs are nothing to get too excited about.

Matthew Odam tells the reader what happens in Manage Comedy, but sadly offers little original thought.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation