Will you see this film?
Why? I'm wondering why some films do well at the box office, and others don't. I'm starting to think that audiences are not as picky as they should be. As a storyteller, I aim to entertain and enlighten. But, lately, most films do more manipulation of emotion than enlightenment and entertainment.
Madea films are BIG box office draw. Is it because people can't resist laughing at a six-foot black man in drag?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is another popular film. Why? Are audiences suckers for a sad, love story that pulls on your heart-strings as unmercifully as kids at tug-of-war? Never mind that this story will suck four hours of your time, and leave you emotionally exhausted. It's a love story between Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett!
This film has grossed over $80M to date. People keep flocking to it. Taken is literally an emotional roller coaster ride, for parents of teenaged girls. Beware sending your daughter on trips to Paris, for she may be kidnapped and sold into slavery. But, this is what you could do if you were an ex-government agent with a set of skills to render vengeance upon the evil bad guys. Again, emotional manipulation.
I suppose there is one shining light in the arena of film lately. Slumdog Millionaire has garnered much attention and many accolades. It is the story of a young man poised on the brink of drastically changing his life, by winning millions on a trivia game show. The storytelling is well layered, and literally draws you into another world. It's a love story, and a life story. The film truly enlightens and entertains. Filmmaking at its best. This film deserves to receive high honors, and I hope it wins the Oscar for which it's nominated. It is the Best Film of 2008.