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"It's okay, Jason. I'm sure he didn't mean that bit about Brendan Fraser."

Poor Emily Blunt. Critics want to love her; they really do. Here's me on The Adjustment Bureau: "Despite all the nonsense and leaden pacing, everyone seems to be having a good time looking wonderful. Damon is All-American handsome as a bad-boy politician, Emily Blunt is lissome and witty as a hipster ballerina, and the two manage some decent meet-cute dialogue before Fate (or the Plan, or Divine Providence, or whatever) intervenes to keep them apart."

And here's David Elliott on The Five-Year Engagement: "Emily Blunt is so sanely appealing that her honest touches rescue parts of The Five-Year Engagement, but not the movie. What could?" Ouch. Bigger ouch: "But [co-star Jason] Segel is like a sitcom variation of Brendan Fraser and is given too many close-ups (also butt shots)." Final verdict: "These dumb comedies are running out of ways to shock us, and they lack the screwball wit to cover their silly, gaping contrivances." Done and done.

Elliott breaks ranks with his fellow critics, however, by liking The Raven. "The Raven caws his name with considerable verve," he writes, artfully dodging the seemingly inevitable Poe joke.

Best for last: Elliott busts out the instant classic "It is better to be a young, pretty prostitute for moneyed Parisians than, say, an aging gutter slut in Tampico" for his review of the French film Elles. Personally, I'm astonished to hear that someone found fresh material in the world's oldest profession, but Elliott says that the film has "a Franco-Polish bravura, being directed and partly written by Malgorzata Szumowska...Her documentary background unites with a brain-teasing playfulness reminiscent of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s films (both Poles learned brisk, imaginative tactics from the French New Wave)." Well okay, then.

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