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The Culture Show: Take on Mark with the Anti-Kermode

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Mark Kermode | 13:57 UK time, Friday, 6 February 2009

This year, the Kermode Awards has a new category - the 'Anti-Kermode' Audience Award.
To win the title of Anti-Kermode 2009, just explain here (in no more than 100 words) why Mark was WRONG about a film, an actor, a director, or anything else film related.
The top Anti-Kermode will be announced at the Kermodes on Tuesday 17th February on The Culture Show, which will end with a clip of the film you disagree about. The more forthright the entry, the more chance you have!
Entries must be in by 5pm Monday 9th February 2009. Anything submitted to this blog after that cannot be considered.


  • Comment number 1.

    But Mark, you have never been wrong!

  • Comment number 2.

    although the good doctor is rarely wrong. i think the one film this year he is wrong about is death race. the reason is he fell into the trap of saying original film classic, new film rubbish. which is just wrong. when i watched it, it reminded me of the assault on precinct 13 remake. both remakes took the core idea expanded it into a new interesting direction whilst nodding the original. death race contained violence, death, cars, and explosions what more do you want from a film called death race. i especially liked the use of David Carredines voice as Frankenstein at the beginning.and although the original is such a classic and yes if compared this is not as good it still is the best action film of the year and Corman produced the defense rests

    Nathan flood bsc

  • Comment number 3.

    Role models James King was right.......GENIUS

  • Comment number 4.

    This is actually about accents but I figured that I'd missed the post as far as posting under that video so...

    The BBC Detective TV Series WALLANDER is set in Sweden and all the cast speak English. Works fine. This is especially relevant as Ken Brannagh stars in this as well as Valkyrie.

    Compare this with ENEMY AT THE GATES, which is two thirds English accents, Bob Hoskins doing faux-Russian and the great Ron Pearlman doing the most bizarre English/American/Russian hybrid accent this side of Dick Van Dyke. Almost ruins the film.

    English works.

    Accents don't.

    But ultimately, its just about your suspension of disbelief. The people that complain about the lack of accents in films are somewhat missing the point and are, in all likelihood, the type of people that point at the screen and say 'that wouldn't happen' during Star Wars.

  • Comment number 5.

    Dear Mark

    I never disagree with you (Except your first review of Ratatouille, but you did correct yourself from what I remember) normally but I believe you were completely wrong about Doomsday.

    It was absolutely terrible with some terrible acting to match it (even Malcolm McDowall was terrible as the “Scientist gone mad”)
    Marshall's script had too many unanswered questions and characters not fully developed.
    The homage’s were pathetic just proving the film doesn’t have its own character ,so takes elements from Mad Max and some well loved songs, creating Sloth from The Goonies.
    Evan Rhona Mitra's character was a mere impersonation of Snake Plissken and the film's major supporting characters were lifeless.
    The film felt like it was directed by Michael Bay as when it starts to get quiet, or the characters seem “lost”, an action scene or an explosion comes out of nowhere to “move” the film along.

    Neil Marshall’s vision were as follows

    1. Stuff what’s going on with the plot, get as many fireworks as I can. I need to blow up more things than Michael Bay.

    2. Shove random things from random films into the film. It won’t add anything to the story or move anything along but it will make me look clever.

    3. As I have no characters and no decent dialogue. I will just cast the best actors I can get. They will fix that for me I’m sure of it, as it worked perfectly in Quantum of Solace of course.

    4. Hire a couple of great stuntmen and a halfway sober cinematographer to pull off action scenes in this film.

    Shove all that together and we get the complete waste of time Doomsday.

  • Comment number 6.

    While i know you didn't DISlike The Dark Knight, I feel that you didn't dwell enough on the majestic heath ledger. Hopefully, you will give it some recognition!


  • Comment number 7.

    This is really difficult, thinking of something to contend with. I could argue that There Will Be Blood is actually the film of the year, not Of Time And The City...

    All I can think of to debate is:


    "Showing the massacre's aftermath does NOT show little faith in the viewer.
    Waltz With Bashir is about Ari Folman exhuming his memories to understand fully his past. The recurring image of Folman's unfinished dream creates a sense of terror as we realise – as he did – that he saw something horrendous. He has come with age to see the world through his drawings, but he shows us newsreel footage because he remembered clearly what occurred and newsreels are as close as audiences can get to seeing what he saw, feeling what he felt."

    92 words.


  • Comment number 8.

    EDIT - " we realise (as he did)..."

    Website has a problem with hyphens.

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Mark,

    We've had your four favourite films. What about the four WORST films?

    Am I right in thinking:
    'Exorcist II: The Heretic';
    'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace'
    'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'

  • Comment number 10.

    Well you were damn wrong about Twilight, it was a horrible pop-culture mess created for teenage girls bed-room walls, not the big screen.

    But the one thing you've totally shocked me with is your opinion on Rambo.
    Granted; its as simple minded and primal as cinema gets, yet you overrated how bad it was, it does its job perfectly, even if it doesn't do the job the stupid, brain dead, director wanted it to do, it DOES do what it does immaculatley.
    And thats provide the audiences with blood, violence, shooting, gore, and the laughable performance by Sylvester Stallone.
    Surely, no matter how much u hate the film, you can crawl out of your box for one second and understand, certain people have tastes that involve seeing offensively violent footage of babys being thrown into fires, its the way of the world and Rambo accomplishes this in a way that can combine this perverse pleasure with his comical performance and the films overall Over-the-top'ness. It is, like Last House on Dead End Street, like The Manson Family, like Friday the 13th!, a work of fluke brilliance!

    I rest my case doctor.

  • Comment number 11.

    and mark, if you complimented doomsday in the past, you were right!
    its a romp of action, brutality and does so with mixtures of all kinds of films, it was one of the most unexpected treats of that year for me.
    Fun pretty much sums that film up, and I'm sure the director would be proud to hear people say that!

  • Comment number 12.

    I believe that Mark was wrong in dismissing Slumdog Millionaire's cliched and unrealistic elements as a "fable".

    Of course we shouldn't expect total, meticulous realism. But there is still a realistic setting being used, and in that respect it's completely jarring for the film to pull out stock plot devices for the sake of making life hard for the protagonist. Why does Jamal's brother throw him out of the apartment? Because he's "angry" and "troubled", that's why. Why doesn't the love interest go with him? Because it's her "fate" to stay. I'm sorry, but that's just lame.

  • Comment number 13.

    I usually agree with you doctor however, I have to disagree with you on one film, Showgirls. Now I know you are gouing to brin up all the Razzies the film won however I think has a comic value in how kitch and over the top it ios, I see it as aCarry on movie or a sex comedy as it has so many scenes which if I were to name them they would flash back into the memory. It has bonkers performance from Gina Gershon and Kyle McClachan who get the gag, it has comedy noises, ioits real camp and it has now been seen as the comedy fi,m it always was.

  • Comment number 14.

    I can't think of anything on which I profoundly disagree with Dr Kermode for 2008, but if we're talking generally then I find myself coming to the defence of Pirates Of The Caribbean 3.

    I liked the first one. It's a disposable, enjoyable popcorn spectacular for the holidays. The second one is easily the worst of the three films: it doesn't have a proper start and it doesn't have a proper ending either (it thinks it's The Empire Strikes Back and it absolutely isn't), and all the stuff with Davy Jones and Stellan Skarsgard is just dull. And I'll happily grant that the third one does begin with that horrible, hideously inappropriate mass hanging sequence.

    But the third one does have a trump card that's missing from the second: Geoffrey Rush, who knows how to play this kind of thing and he's sorely missed in POTC 2. And, again in comparison to Part 2, it's not dull.

    Here's how not dull Pirates 3 is: it's well over two and a half hours long but I put the DVD on at around half past ten at night, and therefore it wasn't going to finish until about half past one if you factor in a break to get some supper. And while the film was on at that time of night, it kept me awake and watching; I didn't feel sleepy or any desire to hit the stop button and watch the rest of it the following day.

    Of course it isn't perfect: the Davy Jones stuff is still uninteresting, and as much as I like Chow-Yun Fat, there's no real reason for the whole Singapore sequences to be there. It's not perfect. It's not great. It's not even faintly impressive. But it is so absolutely NOT one of the worst movies of all time.

  • Comment number 15.

    Ooops. That was probably more than 100 words. Sorry.

  • Comment number 16.

    Almost everything you have ever said is correct. Almost everything. BUT! The Exorcist is not the greatest film of all time. I can, of course, sympathise with the sentimental view you have of it, but, after watching it (again) recently I find myself not so much as shaken (as I was when I first witnessed it at the premature age of 11).

  • Comment number 17.

    I think that you are completely wrong about Pirates 3. They are my favourite films ever! It is not boring. It is a great take on fantasy. How on earth did they come up with such brilliant ideas out of a theme park ride? It is unimaginable. Their take on fantasy is mesmerizing. As funny and witty as ever with inspirational writing and a fabulous cast including Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. I could go on. There is also Keith Richards, wow. How you can contemplate this being boring is impossible.

  • Comment number 18.

    I hate you and your film reviews. It is obvious that Bride Wars is going to be the defining film of 2009 and you just threw it away as if it was a mass of self-obsessed, poorly acted trash. Shame on you Kermode. All you do is bring coffee to Mayo and slate brilliant films like Bride Wars, which I cannot (for one second) believe was overlooked in every Oscar category; performances by Hudson and Hathaway are to die for, in every way, shape and form. I hope you have to be exorcised.

  • Comment number 19.

    Danny Boyle depresses me and not only in the way his direction occasionly
    Destroyed the late 90's backpackers bible with the Beach. Dont start me on that day of the triffids zombie nonsense. Ruined a perfectly servicable sci-fi drama by not leaving the final 30 minutes on the cutting room floor and now has committed a similar act of
    sabotage on what could have been a gritty thought provoking rags to riches tale by not ordering a complete re-write of the who wants to be a millionaire (i cant believe this f*cking nonsense is still on tv let alone being referenced in a modern movie) element. I understand the idea behind it, big quick money in a land of extreme poverty but the exection of the idea RUINED the film for me. i left the cinema with only the images of a young boy (who was actually quite brilliant) up to his neck in shit and another being permanatly disfigured (no spolers). The rest i chose to let go as fast as i could cos thinking about the directors sting of unfortunate decisions angered and frustrated me.
    This film could and should have been so much better.
    The gormless, expressionless award nominated Dev Patel also left me cold and unsympathetic. The hype around this movie is driven purely by its most shocking scenes, the rest soon forgotten!

  • Comment number 20.

    Danny Boyle depresses me and not only in the way his direction occasionly intends. Slumdog could have been a thought provoking tale were it not for the Who wants to be a Millionaire element. I understand the necessity of this tool, big quick money in a land of extreme poverty but the exection of the idea RUINED the film for me. I left the cinema with only the images of a young boy (who was quite brilliant) up to his neck in shit and another being permanatly disfigured. Dev Patels acting left me cold and Danny Boyles direction frustrated!


  • Comment number 21.

    For a man with (usually) such good taste in films I am at a loss to understand how you found SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE to be remotely Oscar-worthy as a finished product. The beautiful camerawork, direction, cinematography and music all help to gloss over the fact that the central story is rather weak. It is Lowest Common Denominator film making with bland emotionless actors and a badly researched screenplay; Millionaire is never broadcast live and ad breaks are taken AFTER the question is answered, not before! Plus it’s littered with coincidences that even Dickens would have been embarrassed by. Very disappointing.

  • Comment number 22.

    If you loved Pirates 3 and Hated Slumdog Millionaire you probably shouldn't be on this blog.
    My only disagreement would be that you were too nice about The Happening. It was dreadful. Just because he pretentiously stuck 'Night' in the middle of his name does not immediately make his films dark - it simply indicates I will soon be sleeping. I suppose it could have been worse, he could have cast himself as mankind's saviour...

  • Comment number 23.

    I am going to throw my gauntlet into the ring and declare that High School Musical 3 is a terrible film.

    The plot is dull and unoriginal. After a while of being bored out of my mind I sat there thinking that I could have a good nap, but no! The constant stream of terrible songs makes falling asleep impossible.

    As for the ‘emotive ending’. The characters should not worry about what college to go to because when they leave the school and spontaneously burst out into song they will be sectioned.

    No toodles for you!


  • Comment number 24.

    Kermode dismisses 'Rambo' as a fascist, racist bloodbath with no morality except the ill-thought out cod burblings of its HGH-addled actor/director. He's right, but that’s no reason not to like it – rather the opposite, I would say. It’s exploitative and relishes human pain, descending into orgies of decapitations and explosive bullet-wounds, with close-ups of all the stumpy viscera for good measure. It demeans all who appear in it, and makes those watching feel guilty and ashamed. How much more do you want out of a film?

  • Comment number 25.

    The film that has most disappointed me was 28 Days After. Take a promising idea, a virus that makes people so angry they become homicidal, yet Boyle threw it away.

    The potential was amazing, most people can control their anger and it subsides after a while; now upset someone are they going to be normally angry - or will it escalate so they become homicidal?
    And this could happen to anyone, at any-time! How many people carry anger around with them? How many different ways can people be made angry?
    The potential was fantastic (lots of potential for social commentary too); instead Boyle settled for a run of the mill zombie move that ended up with a routine 'girls in negligees chased round an old house' sequence. The film that should be made is 'The First 28 Days'.

    OK, it's an old movie, see how disappointed I was! It still makes me angry . . .
    And that's the film that should have been made.
    e.g. Mark K physically destroying cinemas showing Michael Bey movies, friends having to fight to the death over small disagreements and so on.

  • Comment number 26.

    Slumdog Millionaire features a sequence in which young Jamal jumps from a latrine into a pool of excrement, to then obtain Amitabh Bachan's autograph. A 'rags to riches' analogy so subtle that I could actually count the individual pieces of my brain as they scattered around me.
    Apart from introducing preposterous Dickens parallels (as soon as one of the sprogs says "he seems like a nice man", they're in for the Ted Bundy treatment). The film is just plain mean spirited, everyone is always trying to kill him, exploit him or hurt him. City of God meets Fear Factor.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Mark.

    I'd like to say that I disagree with you regarding Doom, and to explain to you something about video games that I don't think you understand.

    I love Doom. It's pap, yes, but the monsters look cool, The Rock is the bad guy, and it has LOADS of little references to the game that put a smile on my face (beyond the first-person segment at the end, such as lines like 'Get this guy a medkit!').

    You said that video games don't have a story, and that you have to create the story. While this is true of most old games, I think that the reason video game films rarely work is for the exact opposite reason.

    Video games have, in the past 12 or so years, become increasingly cinematic, and rely heavily on cultural references, especially to film. They have long cut-scenes that clearly use several filmic techniques in their construction, and games like Grand Theft Auto and Left 4 Dead rely heavily on references to crime/gangster films and zombie films respectively.

    Incidently, I think you'd get a real kick out of Left 4 Dead if you ever played it for this reason, as it even brings up the debate in the script over the difference between zombies and infected (strictly speaking, in the game they are infected).

  • Comment number 28.

    Mark, it seems this is a popular subject but I’m afraid I also have to disagree with you on the subject of Slumdog Millionaire

    This was the laziest, most ridiculous film I’ve seen in a LONG time. It basically consisted of every possible cinematic cliché thrown into a pot, stirred around and poured out onto the screen including – in the moment where the brothers are launched off the side of a building - the use of a dream sequence within a flashback which surely just shouldn’t be allowed.
    In not deciding whether it was a “feel good” movie or a serious comment on India’s social problems it was neither and left me feeling that it lacked respect for its subject and its setting.

    Wow, it’s hard to be very forthright in under 100 words but I did my best!

  • Comment number 29.

    I agree with the email on the last show that derided you for saying that Slumdog Millionaire was a fable when it's clearly a parable.

  • Comment number 30.

    Dr Mark,

    Your integrity crime was
    the film, Mamma Mia! - your quote - "It was so bad, it was good". What a pile of crap.
    In fact if you were to smear excrement thinly onto celluloid and show it, what you'd get is Mamma Mia!
    A film in which all involved prostituted themselves for MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

    Then Mark, like a street corner pusher you try to sell this low grade cinematic drug to us, so we too would be culturally contaminated by its vile contents. Becoming the Simon Cowell of the film world, promoting talent where none exists.

    You can't polish a turd Mark, but you had a bloody good go at this one.

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh yeah, Local Hero?

    How WRONG are you with that? Seen Better.

  • Comment number 32.

    The Orphanage.

    My god were you WRONG on that one. The most standard, dull, cliche'd filled horror film that I have ever seen. This was not clever or scary but incredibly AVERAGE. Just because Guillermo Del Toro added his name to the film and just because it's Spanish, critics lavish praise on it. Spooky cellars? Creepy ghost children? Haunted House? Silly Ending? Squeky metal? Yeah, like we haven't seen that before. If that film was made shot for shot by hollywood critics would dismiss it as Hollywood crap.

  • Comment number 33.

    Mark was oh so wrong to name Terrance Davies’s ‘Of Time and the City’ as one of 2008’s best. The credit should go to the people who shot the archive footage and not the person who rambles over them. The bits they did shoot didn’t make the film any more interesting and only gave it a more Sunday afternoon ‘Songs of Praise’ feel. I found the film overly hypnotic but only in a bad way because I felt rather unconscious throughout. Maybe Davies’s aim was to hypnotize the audience into thinking that it was a good piece of cinema.

  • Comment number 34.

    Dear Dr,

    You are wrong, and all that jazz.

    You found Tom Shankland's 'The Children' to be "a very convincingly chilling and nasty experience" and I have to say that I agree with you. The state of british horror movies today is very chilling indeed.

    The price of admission in hindsight did mean the experience was very nasty.

    Like you, I also felt as though I had seen more than I had. Does this make me a pedophile?

    Good day to you Sir.

  • Comment number 35.

    Dr Kermode wrong? Hardly ever. But he is sometimes unjustifably silent. The simply wonderful La Zona appears to have passed him by, despite it being in the top 3 best films released in the UK the last 12 months. Edgy satire, fabulous acting, great direction, and simlpy the fastest couple of hours I have spent in a cinema for a long time. And not a word on this wonderful film from the good doctor: hang your head in shame.

  • Comment number 36.

    i dont know what you've been wrong about this year, but you're very wrong about 'breaking the waves.' Its a fantastic film with great performances, powerful scene after powerful scene and an ending thats open to different interpretations depending on your viewpoint on faith. All in all i think it's a great film that you have misjudged. thanks

  • Comment number 37.

    Cloverfield dared critics simply to list its precursors, and Mark Kermode obliged at length, but Cloverfield is a jewel in its own right. Torn wallpaper layers of over-recorded video give it a narrative depth and non-linearity absent from more naive camcorder flicks, and the effects team inserts a rampaging CGI creature into a shaking camera frame as if that stuff was easy. Unlike Emmerich's Godzilla, Cloverfield uses its smaller, human-scale critters to glorious effect too, creating a genuine horror riff at the heart of this monster movie. Not as good as The Host, but how many films really are?

  • Comment number 38.

    Zack and Miri Make A Porno was a superb comedy and the accusation that it went off into mawkish sentimentality is nonsense. All of Kevin Smith's films have that sentimental edge, even Clerks, so to accuse Zack and Miri Make A Porno of this is ridiculous and shows a total ignorance of the Great One's work. I also laughed well over fifteen times so it passes whatever rule or laughter gauge you're using at the moment, it seems to vary. Oh and please get over your Seth Rogen problem. The dude's a nice guy who makes people laugh. It can't be dark and unpleasant all the time quiffmeister general.

    Apart from this you tend to be right MOST of the time. :-)
    Peace and love, peace and love!

  • Comment number 39.

    oh yeah, cloverfield was great by the way, i'm with mark on that. not as good as the host, but better than diary of the dead (which i still loved).

  • Comment number 40.

    You are preposterously wrong regarding your misplaced enthusiasm for authenticity. If you were thinking about accents while watching Valkyre, then that is a poor reflection on the movie—and doesn’t mean that it should have been made in German. Accordingly, I don’t give a hoot whether Marion Cotillard can sing or not, as long as her performance is convincing. Have you heard of acting, Mark? This means it’s NOT REAL. Are you seriously proposing the end of “sword and sandal” epics because there aren’t any Romans around to get the accents right? Sorry, scrap Star Trek, our Martian is a little rusty, and no, Sophie, you can’t make Marie Antoinette. And we expect a REAL body count for the upcoming Saw instalment…

  • Comment number 41.

    Okay, another one....

    There are many reasons why one might negatively review a film: it could be dull, mawkish, overlong, misogynistic, illogical, incomprehensible, badly shot, noisy, full of loathsome characters, proto-fascist or have Hugh Grant in a major role. But to come out against a film because they happened to use a particular piece of music that's personally significant to you is, I'm afraid, not enough. Step forward Stranger Than Fiction: a perfectly acceptable, quirky, charming and offbeat little film (with an unusually tolerable Will Ferrell)and whatever that bit of music was, it didn’t really matter.

  • Comment number 42.

    While you praise Slumdog Millionaire for its wholesome "fable like qualities" I must disagree. A fable requires clear moral maxim. What the audience is given instead is something between a comedic glorification of wealth and a tragedic critique of the power of money. What I couldn't help but think as soon as I left the cinema was that I'd just seen a tribute to Scarface but with an overtly likeable character thrown in to please the crowd. Although the film left me in high spirits its dubious materialist message gave them a hollow ring.

  • Comment number 43.

    I have to say I've agreed with you on practically everything this year. Everything but Hellboy II.

    I love Del Toro, so I saw it in the cinema but was left a little underwhelmed. I was given the DVD for Christmas. I watched it through with the commentary, then watched the Making Of. Energised, I watched it again this time without the commentary. Again, I was left underwhelmed.

    So what's wrong? There is so much imagination on show here. Wonderful monster design. Some genuinely funny lines, and some pretty thrilling action sequences.

    But then there's Selma Blair, who impersonates a fence post for the majority of the film. There's also the 'kooky' background shenanigans at the beginning, not unlike Men In Black. Just not as well written.

    Finally there is the whole Monsters Vs Humans conflict. After films such as The Dark Knight (of which your review was entirely correct), the first two X Men films and even Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, watching a film that presents conflict between humans and, let's face it, make believe creatures, just doesn't measure up.

    The Dark Knight and Pan's Labyrinth show the monsters within us, X Men draws attention to the racial and cultural discrimination in society around us. Hellboy II falls somewhere in between those two without really hitting either mark. On a technical level it's easy to admire, but I found it entirely unsatisfying, and by golly did I try to like it.

  • Comment number 44.

    In defence of the boat sequence in the Dark Knight: it perhaps seemed incongruous, but that's only because the film had already gone on for so long that a completely new situation tried your patience. It is, however, crucial: without Gotham’s redemption, the film would align itself with the Joker's Hobbesian view of people being fundamentally without morals. It is a heartwarming moment in an already cynical movie…even Morgan Freeman had to became Big Brother! The easy solution? Cut the Hong Kong sequence, which contributed little, complicated the plot, and ripped off the plane pick-up idea from Thunderball.

  • Comment number 45.

    Mistake of the year for Dr Kermode was to describe Mamma Mia as ‘so bad it’s good’, no Mark, it’s just bad. Not being an ABBA fan (as not everybody is) didn’t help, but hearing those songs mutilated must have been difficult even for the fans. I don’t want to go to the cinema to hear people sing and dance, if Mark has a strict no talking rule then how can he advocate this? When the realisation comes that it is in fact James Bond squeaking out SOS and you can never watch Goldeneye again, things have gone too far!

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi there,

    To some extent you are wrong about the 'The Curious Case...' but specificaly and exclusively you are wrong about its Original Score. Or would you have prefered soundtrack as you claimed in 'Culture Show Uncut'when you tirelessly compared it with 'Forrest Gump'?! Since when a soundtrack (bunch of songs thrown in) is better than custom-made original score? Coming from you Mark,I find it hard to believe. To say this, it's not merely understatement for the movie itself, it's utterly insulting for art itself. Alexandre Desplat has given us here a masterpiece and I sincerely believe most of everyone would agree... Time for you to listen to it, anytime is good!

  • Comment number 47.

    Thanks for all your entries. We'll announce the winner of the Anti-Kermode during the Culture Show on Tuesday 17 February.

  • Comment number 48.

    Benjamin Button isn't the empty piece of sentimentality you said it is or about life lived backwards. It uses Benjamin's condition as a way to look at the impact of time on our existence. Emphasising the fact that we can’t change time and we’re all going to die, Fincher has made time the killer stalking the film. The quasi-palindromic narrative makes the plot feel nearly oblivious to chronology, which is apt for a film examining time, and its visually fantastic. It’s the only real piece of cinema out of the Oscar nominees and by far the most inventive.

  • Comment number 49.

    to the guy who implied that a soundtrack can never be as good as an original score, i raise you diary of the dead. the whole 'i added music over the top to scare you, and I DO WANT TO SCARE YOU' thing is stupid. everyone knows if a girl like that was making a film like that, she wouldn't have been able to find an orchestra to perform that score, especially not in the confines of a panic room in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. it would have been far more realistic if she had used a combination of scores from other horror films like the exorcist and halloween, and awful nu-metal music. combine that with the fact that trainspotting doesn't have an original score, but it has some of the best use of music in a british film ever, and you look like nothing short of a fool!

  • Comment number 50.

    I think (straying off topic here) that it is worth pointing out that Forrest Gump does have, in addition to a vast collection of period songs, a very nice score by Alan Silvestri. But the score (which should still be findable on CD) is largely forgotten at the expense of the songs.

    Certainly there are films where an original score isn't called for: Trainspotting, Reservoir Dogs, or a biopic of Beethoven. Lalo Schifrin was famously hired to score The Exorcist, and about 14 minutes were recorded before Friedkin abandoned the sessions and decided to use classical pieces instead. And there are a few with practically no music at all. But the overwhelming majority of commercial films benefit from an original score tailored to the film's unique demands.

  • Comment number 51.

    Just when I am beginning to think that your opinions are of any value - your passion for Silent Running, an interesting item on Werner Herzog - you revert to the usual outpouring of utter claptrap. Where is your consistency? High School Musical 2 is complete, unadulterated rubbish. A collection of talentless show-offs jazz-handing their way through a banal script and a collection of pitiful songs does not entertainment make. How can you possibly love Pan's Labyrinth (a superb film) and yet consider The Exorcist the best film of all time? Do you actually watch the films? Do you understand them? How can you fail to acknowledge the brilliance of Blood Simple, The Razor's Edge or True Romance and yet fixate on a film, at best average, like Local Hero. For God's sake find a job for which you are qualified - you clearly have absolutely no understanding of film, good writing, direction, acting or music.

  • Comment number 52.

    YOU FOOL he said he liked high school musical 1 and 3, but not 2. also, true romance sucks, i'd rather watch natural born killers or wild at heart any day.

  • Comment number 53.

    My Nomination for The Kermode Audience Award:
    Of Time and The City
    (aka Yawn Time and The City)

    Kermode must be stripped of his doctorate for his praise of this trumped-up audio book! He has brought his academic qualification into disrepute, and has lost all credibility as a film reviewer!

    What's wrong with this film? It's incredibly boring. Whilst the pictures are largely in black and white - the overall colour is grey. Terrence Davies didn't film any of the pictures, nor did he write the score, he simply wrote and read his self-indulgent narrative. And yet he's about as Liverpudlian as Cherie Blair - he hasn't lived there in years - and he hated The Beatles for heaven's sake!

  • Comment number 54.

    orblando loom was good in the calcium kid.

  • Comment number 55.







  • Comment number 56.

    This isn't even a disagreement with you, but most, if not ALL of the major awards.

    I saw Che 1 again today after having seen the whole four hours last month.

    And it stuns me that it's being ignored for its cinematography.

    Put this right.

  • Comment number 57.


    James King probably thinks 'Schindler's List' is the funniest comedy ever. The guy is a muppet, why do you think he's still on Radio1?

  • Comment number 58.

    I think Mark was wrong about 'The Happening'.Most cinema-goers who have been to see 'The Happening' proclaim it to be a pretentious piece of "absolute rubbish" but Mark insists it isn't. He seems to think that despite it being "severely flawed" and incredibly supercilious, it isn't rubbish. Just how does he define 'rubbish', then? However, there is just one tiny flaw in Mark's argument: M.Knight has been directing movies for at least 10 years, and most of his films have been misses rather than hits. If this were his debut film, one could forgive him, but it isn't. One would think that after all this time he would have finally learned how to direct, how to write a story - we would be calling him a visionary if that were the case, instead of panning his films. Ergo, 'The Happening' IS rubbish; HE is rubbish, and he should quit the film industry.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think Kermode is just wrong full stop.

  • Comment number 60.

    There seems to be quite a number of negative comments peposted here about Slumdog Millionaire and I hope to god one of them wins. Considering how much you liked it and this being the anti Kermode award it seems justified.
    If this turns out not to be the case, it would be criminal of you not to at least mention us descerning people out there who for various reasons (lets face it, there are many) found this nonsense as big a pile of shit as the a the films young protagonist falls up to his neck in!!

  • Comment number 61.

    The film "Of the Time and the City" should not be considered film of the year for one simple reason. Although there were some haunting images and some almost magical sequences, anybody that can play Ronald Binge's kitschy "Elizabethan Seranade" over scenes of the Beatles performing at the Cavern Club is guilty of gross cultural vandalism and should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and never be given any Lottery money again. And when he said that the Beatles killed the "witty lyric and the well-crafted love song" is when we should have called in the men in white coats.

    [99 words]
    Hopefully forthright enough for you, Doc although there is much more where that came from.

  • Comment number 62.

    Tom Cruise as Stauffenberg. Why on earth cast him as a German?
    Let\s start at the awful German he tried to get away with at the beginning at the movie. Why would Stauffenberg speak German with a horrendous american accent? Also don\t cast Cruise with people who are actual actors. All of the people in it managed to give convincing performances and they pulled you in to the reality of the film. Then comes Stauffenberg, played like a flawless actionhero by a guy with the most disruptive accent in the history of cinema and drags you away from Valkyrie and leaves you with Top Gun set in Germany

  • Comment number 63.

    actually Most of the movies Kermode likes and rates highly I dont rate or like and the ones that he doesn't like or rate are usually those I rate and like.. His reasons for his views are no better than mine. Only difference is he's a jornalist with the gift of the gab.

  • Comment number 64.

    Slumdog Millionaire is over rated . It wins becuse of its theme of underdog doing well and suceeding and the Americans love that. The Reader was a far better movie as was Milk.

  • Comment number 65.

    For the record, here are the final awards fromt he Culture Show website:
    Best Film and Best Director: Terence Davies, Of Time and the City
    Best Actress: Belen Rueda - The Orphanage
    Best Actor: Michael Fassbender - Hunger
    Best Supporting Actress: Ashley Tisdale - HSM3
    Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Marsan - Happy Go Lucky
    Best Foreign Film: Gomorrah
    Best Screenplay: Garth Jennings - Son of Rambow
    Fellowship of the Kermodes: Terry Gilliam
    The Anti-Kermode: Jane Parker


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