Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Review

Monday, February 22, 2016

Film Review I Like!

I love this review of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, written by Roger Ebert when he added the film to his Great Films collection in 1997. He writes the review as it if he's writing a letter to his grandchildren, and he describes the first time all of them sat down and watched the film, explaining to them what makes the film so great (and why the kids found it so great).

This technique is what elevates the review; because E.T. is, all acclaim aside, a children's film, reviewing the movie with children introduces their perspective. This makes the reader understand how talented Steven Spielberg is, to make a brilliant film that even a child could understand (Ebert praises the film's POV and the story's reliability). Ebert's writing is child-like and simple (so his grandkids could understand), which emphasizes this idea.

Lastly, I think that the emotionally charged writing (a grandfather addressing his grandchildren) works especially well for E.T. Most people who love the film love it for simple reasons: it's a heartwarming story about a lost alien who makes friends with some earth-born children. It's a fun, lovable film. Writing with the almost academic candor of some of his other pieces would have been a bit inappropriate for such an innocent film.

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