Film Critic Starting to Think Every Slightly Decent Movie 'La Grande Illusion'

Let's take a moment to look at the fascinating crew that makes up the Big Three Times flick describers. There's Stephen Holden, who, when not busy starting beefs with Disney Channel talent, can be found working out his issues in public. There's Tony Scott, who does whatever the hell it is he does. And then, of course, there's Manohla. Ms. Dargis, brought in when Elvis Mitchell decided that spending time with Cambridge co-eds was preferable to drawing the short straw that forces you to share space in the screening room with Lou Lumenick, takes a look at new Jack Black vehicle Nacho Libre. The film, already noted elsewhere for its "implicit racism," inspires Dargis to ascend to this apogee of critical assessment:

Mr. Black's arrhythmic use of the word "whatever" verges on the Brechtian — and it also works to the film's liberating vision of identity as a performance space, an existential wrestling ring, if you will, in which each of us, if only given the opportunity, can cavort freely in the mask and colored tights of our choosing.

Now, that seems a little freighted for what's essentially a one-note Mexican wrestling comedy. But what do we know? We're not Manohla, who presumably found Cars to be "a Pirandellian cavalcade of spiritual searching in which each of us, animated the right way, can determine our drives and desires."

Actually, that's harder than it looks. Our hats are off to you, Ms. D.

Jack Black Plays a Tender Heart in Stretchy Pants and Ankle Boots in 'Nacho Libre' [NYT]
Down for the Count [Slate]

Earlier: Bitchy McBitchfight: Holden vs. Duff

UPDATE: It all makes sense: Dargis is fucking crazy. Also, doesn't Michiko Kakutani hold the copyright on this bit?