Feature

Why British films are so preachy and dull.

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United Kingdom

Rod Liddle The Spectator

British films are insufferably pious, said Rod Liddle in the London Spectator. Ever since 1982, when Chariots of Fire won an Oscar for Best Screenplay, the British have felt that their offerings are supposed to be “somehow ‘better’ than American films, more intellectually rewarding.” A movie isn’t worth making unless it contains “some noble and life-enhancing message” of interest to “the wider multicultural community.” Such snobbishness has permeated the entire British film industry, and the earnestness and political correctness have become wearying. “How we might yearn for a British film that breaks out and genuinely explores a ‘social ishoo’ with wit and irony and drama—much as those idiots in Hollywood managed to do recently with Crash.” You’d never see a British film dare to portray a racist as a human being, flawed but almost sympathetic. Our films have to bash you over the head with the message that racism is bad, bad, bad, and racists are bad people. “British cinema sees only one side of the argument.” That’s why our movies have “no real drama.”

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