Scott Marks 3:29 p.m., May 24
War of the Buttons (La guerre des boutons)
Ten reasons not to see this film: 1. The Weinstein Company annually likes to dangle Holocaust-themed films (Life is Beautiful, The Reader, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Good, Defiance) in front of Academy voters. Every awards season, Harvey Weinstein leads the charge with, “We must never forget...there’s still plenty of money to be made off Hitler’s inferno!” 2. You have zero interest in seeing what it would have been like had Walt Disney produced a live-action Nazi drama in the 1960s. (The Incredible Journey? The Absent Minded Oberführer? Emil and the Schutzstaffel?) 3. Because one well-intentioned Holocaust film a year is more than enough and you’ve already seen Agnieszka Holland’s masterful In Darkness. 4. No karate. 5. Wait for it to be released on VOD and then don’t watch it. 6. You’ve heard of Holocaust denial? The War of the Buttons will put you in Holocaust-film denial. 7. Nazis are nothing more than stock buffoons who can be warded off by adorable tykes armed with stones and slingshots. 8. Holocaust films should never end with a closing crawl that basically states, “And they lived happily ever after.” 9. Who wants to see Laetitia Casta in a PG-13 picture? 10. The task of teaching children about the Holocaust should be left to parents and educators, not the for-profit Weinstein Pictures. Until filmmakers can resist sentimentalizing the Holocaust, it’s one subject that should never be given a fictionalized treatment. 2012.
— Scott Marks