Keep It Up, Manohla

Your life is much more vacant, humorless and lacking food for thought if you forget to read Manohla Dargis' movie reviews every Friday. She's the best thing to happen to the New York Times in the past couple years, and, I would argue (and love to debate) smarter, funnier, more incisive, and more feminist than Maureen Dowd (I still love you Maureen. I just love your sister more). Today she's got a record three rollicking reviews, and, as ever, she's just unstoppable.

  • On Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond:

    The tragedy of Sierra Leone and the complicity of Americans, who buy more diamonds than any other consumers in the world, deserve louder, more clamorous attention than the occasional news report. And certainly big-budget Hollywood action films are plenty loud and plenty clamorous, and the volume is only turned up to shrieking with the addition of the international heartthrob who, by sacrificing himself on the altar of love in “Titanic,” conquered a generation of young female fans (the same demographic most likely to brandish a rock on its ring finger).

  • On The Holiday:

    The director Nancy Meyers gets a kick out of romantic love, but she also grooves to its agonies, particularly those of the more prolix kind. In her neo-screwball world of dizzy dames and the heartbreakers who do and done them wrong, love is a drug, an escape, an ordeal and a ready excuse for a lot of chatter. The men and women in a Nancy Meyers film don’t just fall in love; they talk about falling in love, about falling out of love, about needing, fearing and surrendering to love. They would, I imagine, have driven Raymond Carver crazy.

    I defnitely lose it at the movies on a monthly basis when rereading Pauline Kael. But could Manohla be my modern analogue? Sigh, read her and fall in love.