Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Matt Damon & Cameron Crowe Respond To David Denby's Comments About 'We Bought A Zoo'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 14, 2011 at 11:17AM

New Yorker critic David Denby doesn't seem to making many friends this month. In the midst of tangling with Scott Rudin over his embargo breaking "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" review, in an email to the producer, he tried to rationalize his decision to run his article early by throwing another big December movie under the bus.
2

We Bought A Zoo Denby
New Yorker critic David Denby doesn't seem to making many friends this month. In the midst of tangling with Scott Rudin over his embargo-breaking "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" review, in an email to the producer, he tried to rationalize his decision to run his article early by throwing another big December movie under the bus.

"...So we had a dilemma: What to put in the magazine on December 5? Certainly not 'We Bought the Zoo,' or whatever it's called. If we held everything serious, we would be coming out on Christmas-season movies until mid-January. We had to get something serious in the magazine. So reluctantly, we went early with 'Dragon,' which I called 'mesmerizing'...," Denby explained. It looks like the critic already had some knives out for Cameron Crowe's movie. Well, the director and the star of the film, Matt Damon, have responded to Denby's comments, which they take in good spirit.

"The Denby thing was almost funny to me because I felt like we were the people sitting at a table at the bar and this barroom brawl breaks out and they spill onto your table and you get knocked out," Crowe said, laughing, to the Washington Post. "So I’m like, hey man, I’m just having a sandwich here and Scott Rudin and David Denby just came twirling across and I got my jaw broken."

But more seriously, Crowe does hope that Denby gives his movie a fair shake. "I’m actually anxious for him to see the movie... It’s a time filled with cynicism, and there’s a lot of movies about that, and this one is a little bit about hope and a lack of cynicism. And it deserves a place along with every other movie that’s about the gritty experience of what it’s like to be alive. This movie’s a little bit about moving on from that and learning how to bring some joy into your life."

As for Damon, he even wonders if critics can separate their own cynicism to embrace a movie that is completely free of it. "I think it’s probably more difficult to be non-cynical and be a critic. I think it probably takes more guts for a critic to admit that this movie gets to them than it will for them to bash it, you know," the actor said. He also recalled an anecdote that Anthony Mighella told him about his days as a guest film critic and how quickly he "devolved into vitriol."

But ultimately, both Crowe and Damon have faith in "We Bought A Zoo" even if Denby doesn't. We guess we'll see his review soon enough, but make your own judgment on Crowe's sweet crowdpleaser when it opens on December 23rd.

This article is related to: We Bought A Zoo, Matt Damon, Cameron Crowe


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates