Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

More Heat For 'Miracle At St Anna'

Man, Spike is getting beaten up at the hands of film critics over Miracle At St Anna! The film opens this Friday, and I'll certainly be there opening night to take it all in. I'll post my thoughts afterwards... maybe.

Here are a few more discouraging reviews (hat tip to GreenCine):

From David Edelstein of New York Magazine:

"Miracle at St Anna will doubtless be extolled by people who mistake [Spike] Lee's righteous clobbering for moral seriousness," writes David Edelstein in New York. "Lee's climax is part punishing bloodbath, part florid religious uplift, and the coda is so maladroit it's hard to believe anyone on-set could keep a straight face."

And this one from Noel Murray of AV Club:

"This pains me to write, because I'm a lifelong fan of Spike Lee's, and I think his recent run of films (25th Hour, Inside Man, When The Levees Broke) has been downright inspiring, but Miracle at St Anna is a botch of the first order, a movie that telegraphs its leadenness in its first 10 minutes, and departs two-and-a-half hours later having left behind maybe two or three memorable scenes."

And this one from Eric Kohn at the Jaman Blog:

"Lee's noble attempt to create a World War II drama with African American soldiers fails to create a compelling narrative, marred as it is by forced melodrama and a shoddy screenplay that sounds like some kind of second rate pulp novel from the 50s," writes Eric Kohn at the Jaman Blog. "The director undoubtedly qualifies as one of the finest American filmmakers of the last 30 years, but he might work better on his home turf."

However, there is one bright spot. From James Rocchi at Cinematical:

"There are moments here where the film does not work, where you can feel the sharp needle of disbelief or dislocation puncture the film mercilessly, and there are other moments that are not only willing but indeed eager to look at big, challenging, relevant issues of race and power, war and justice, faith and failure," writes James Rocchi at Cinematical. "These moments - and there are many of them - not only speak to Lee's unwavering skill and commitment as a filmmaker, but also to the singular nature of his talent and will. When Miracle at St Anna falters, it's in the moments that seem like they could have been crafted by any other filmmaker; when Miracle at St Anna succeeds, it's in the moments that could only have been crafted by Lee."

Tick, tock, tick, tock...