Intro for September 6, 2016
Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge received a 10 minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival this weekend. Some are calling the film Mel’s “act of atonement”. As you know, Mel’s been accused of being several kinds of “-ists”. And an “-er” too. So here’s another man who’s been given the opportunity for redemption through art.
I read most of the Hacksaw Ridge reviews from the top critics: The Guardian, Variety, the Evening Standard, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, all of them pretty much jizzing over the film, although Alfonso Duralde at The Wrap, while praising the work, also made a point of mentioning that a story about pacifism makes war look spectacularly awesome.
Of the top critics that I’ve read though, Jessica Kiang at The Playlist seems to be one of the few who had problems with Hacksaw Ridge, giving it only a “C” score and calling it “ethically worrisome”, and not because of Mel Gibson’s controversial past but because “this tale of real-life heroism seems less a celebration of humanist convictions than a glorification of religious intransigence and a declaration of the moral superiority of the faithful over the faithless”.
When Alejandro G Inarritu’s The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio, The Struggler, opened last year, in my experience, the film played stronger for men than it did for women. I’m curious to see if Hacksaw Ridge will be the same. Still, Venice was a major victory for Mel Gibson. And that momentum is expected to carry as we get deeper into award season. You know who Academy voters are and you know those old white guys love this kind of movie. So. Mel Gibson. On his way back up.
Yours in gossip,