Walter Mencken 2:02 p.m., May 23
Shall I compare thee to a hummer, say?
Odds Bodkin! Elliott is on fire! He lays into the cream-faced loons behind the Shakespeare-bashing Anonymous in this wise: "Anonymous comes from the reigning depositer of commercial mega-dung, Roland Emmerich (2012, The Patriot, Independence Day). For this director, truth is easily shaken and speared...You won’t find dopier nonsense (not even on the History Channel, prone to stuff such as UFO Vampires of the Mayan Pyramids) than this picture’s love scenes. Liz in heat coos to Edward, “Are you Prince Hal or Romeo?” years before those plays were written. He burbles a sonnet for her and is rewarded with oral sex (well, it beats a sword tap on the shoulder)." Burbles!
But the gleeful savagery quickly turns to sober praise: Oranges and Sunshine, a film about the exposure of horrific clerical abuse in Australia, stars "Emily Watson, doing what may be her finest film work since Breaking the Waves in 1996. As Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, Watson is so much the real deal that you might not register how terrific her acting is." (My note: given the subject matter, that title is simply heartbreaking.)
After that one-two, things must needs calm down a bit: "Based on a memoir by chef Nigel Slater, Toast pops up, then lies flat. Like toast."