October Baby brings out movie reviewer’s bias

posted at 4:50 pm on March 27, 2012 by Tina Korbe

After he saw the movie October Baby, Mark Hall of the band Casting Crowns commented, “I am now an October Baby activist.” The film seems to have that effect on people: A friend of mine saw it this Sunday and called excitedly just to say, “You have to see October Baby. I’m telling everyone I know to go see it!”

Her enthusiasm and Ed’s review piqued my interest  – but it was actually a New York Times review of the film that convinced me I really do have to see this film while it’s still in theaters. It’s evident the movie strikes a nerve. Why else would Jeannette Catsoulis react with undisguised animosity to what she claims is just a “gauzy,” “soapy” melodrama? No need to grow angry about an “emo” kid film. That’s the sort of film that is usually easy to ignore and to which it’s typically impossible to have an impassioned reaction of any kind whether positive or negative.

Yet, Catsoulis can’t restrain her antipathy, claiming the movie has “an essential ugliness at its core” and “communicates in the language of guilt and fear.” It’s “clearly intended to terrify young women,” she writes. Then, she reveals her true objection to the film is political: “It fits right in with proposed state laws that increasingly turn the screws on a woman’s dominion over her reproductive system.”

Yes, she’s talking about laws that, among other things, would require women to have an ultrasound before they would be allowed to have an abortion. You remember the left’s outrageous outrage about a law like that in Virginia, don’t you?

What’s most notable about her mention of those laws, though, is not that she thinks the “turn the screws on a woman’s dominion over her reproductive system.” (That is notable, though. How does access to additional information impede a woman’s freedom?) What’s most notable is that she mentions them in a movie review. As Michael Medved puts it, “Film reviewers enjoy a natural, inalienable right to slam movies, but it’s not fair to review a film’s ideas rather than its artistic quality.” Clearly, though, she can’t help herself: She has to address the ideas directly. Could it be because October Baby really doesn’t preach and viewers might unconsciously be caught up in its themes? Could it be that October Baby follows the best artistic traditions and simply tells a story?

That’s the hope. As I always say, we don’t need more conservative art. We need more conservatives to make art. It sounds like the directors of October Baby might have done just that.


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I want her!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 4:52 PM

See! This time someone could have done a bakers dozen Bishops!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

But noooooooo! I have to catch up on other threads, and not give it a try.

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Eight minutes without any comments…*runs*…must be a bomb in here…or someone pharted!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Why is this a surprise? Did you really think a reviewer from the NYT would give a pro-life film a fair break? Until there are conservatives in the newsrooms of the media, don’t expect any changes.

Gladtobehere on March 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

4 States Where Right-Wingers Are Promoting Shocking Measures to Keep Women Barefoot and Pregnant

The birth control skirmish is not the only regressive, anti-woman, anti-science battle being waged in this country.
=================================================

Good Gawd,these Liberal Activists are sooo stuck in the early
nineteenth century!!

canopfor on March 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Why did you guys ruin KOOLAID’s running monologue?

NotCoach on March 27, 2012 at 5:15 PM

If Ed’s boosting this movie and the NYT is trashing it this movie is probably worth a viewing.

CorporatePiggy on March 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

That’s the hope. As I always say, we don’t need more conservative art. We need more conservatives to make art.

On it.

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:18 PM

As Michael Medved puts it, “Film reviewers enjoy a natural, inalienable right to slam movies, but it’s not fair to review a film’s ideas rather than its artistic quality.”

Clearly, Michael Medved has never read any of Debbie Schlussel’s movie reviews.

SnarkVader on March 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I really do want to see this movie. It’s actually doing surprisingly well right now, it will get a wider release in April though.

NerwenAldarion on March 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Other major media reviews, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and even Roger Ebert based their reviews the film’s artistic merits.

aunursa on March 27, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Clearly, Michael Medved has never read any of Debbie Schlussel’s movie reviews.

SnarkVader on March 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Probably because she’s a bit of a nut.

RickB on March 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

So apparently it was a great film and made perfect sense. Therefore Leftwing Brunhilda had to attack it from her personal political standpoint. Great, maybe I SHOULD see it.

SgtRed on March 27, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Our local paper ran a review of the film that contained a good laugh:

‘October Baby’ weighed down by message
By Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune

It’s ironic that the studio founded by the son of Hollywood founding father Samuel Goldwyn should be the one releasing “October Baby.” Apparently, the acquisitions department never took to heart Goldwyn the elder’s most famous Goldwynism about what movies are supposed to do:

“Pictures were made to entertain. If you want to send a message, call Western Union.”

[...] And even faith-based filmmakers should know that you violate the Gospel of Samuel Goldwyn at your own peril.

Good thing all the left-wing directors follow Goldwyn’s advice to a tee!

KS Rex on March 27, 2012 at 5:32 PM

In the same vane, I believe CS Lewis said we need more books by Christians, not more Christian books

douglucy on March 27, 2012 at 5:32 PM

How does access to additional information impede a woman’s freedom?

The phrase “access to” is crucial here. In reality, the situation is “subjection to”. In a free society, one has the right to be stupid and ignorant.

Myno on March 27, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Why did you guys ruin KOOLAID’s running monologue?

NotCoach on March 27, 2012 at 5:15 PM

…it was a movie thingy (as canopfor would say)…so I didn’t try…but did you see the time lapse in the beginning…could have set a world record…and then beaten here until I was functioning like lobotomy4life!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Breaking news! Rabid Left wing movie reviewer hates pro-life movie…
/I’m shocked

mcplumbercuda on March 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

The phrase “access to” is crucial here. In reality, the situation is “subjection to”. In a free society, one has the right to be stupid and ignorant.

Myno on March 27, 2012 at 5:34 PM

+1

This review notwithstanding, it’s entirely possible that this movie just isn’t that good. If you read Roger Ebert (who usually can’t shoehorn enough politics into reviews) he gives the movie a pretty fair shake politically, but gives it two stars in the end because it’s amateurish and clunky. And my personal feelings about Ebert’s politics aside, he’s a man that knows a lot about movies. I’m sure there are other negative reviews that address the movie’s quality rather than message.

However, I agree with Tina on one point. We need more conservatives to make art, not more conservative art. In the future, there’s no question that there will be a movie from a conservative viewpoint worth cheering for its quality as much as its message. I just don’t think it’s been made yet.

sobincorporated on March 27, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Rotten Tomatoes has a rotten average of 24% on the tomatometer from reviewers.

The audience, though, gives it 93%.

Alana on March 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Is it as good as Tribulation Force?

Pablo Honey on March 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I am seeing the film on Thursday. The people I know who have seen it recommend it highly. I hope those of us who are pro-life support this movie. What I have heard from those who saw it is that it tells a story without being preachy and makes its point subtly.

lukjuj on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The Moonies at the Washington Times give the movie 5 Liberty Bells.

KeninCT on March 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

The Moonies at the Washington Times give the movie 5 Liberty Bells.
KeninCT on March 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Is that good or bad?

KS Rex on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Clearly, Michael Medved has never read any of Debbie Schlussel’s movie reviews.

SnarkVader on March 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I haven’t either, but I’ve read some of her stuff, and I wouldn’t pay a penny to see more.

Troll harder.

JannyMae on March 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Is that good or bad?

KS Rex on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

It’s outstanding. It will reaffirm your faith in Americuh, just like The Undefeated!

KeninCT on March 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM

“Film reviewers enjoy a natural, inalienable right to slam movies, but it’s not fair to review a film’s ideas rather than its artistic quality.”

What horse sh*t. Reviews of movies and books are *always* about ideas, because a film represents the film makers ideas about how the world is (or should be) working. Why else are conservatives agog about October Baby? Because it aligns with their *ideas* about abortion. They’re certainly not drawn to the film solely because of it’s aesthetics or cinematic qualities. “Fair”? What does “fair” have to do with freedom of speech?

lostmotherland on March 27, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Look! Tons of reviews about “artistic quality” that have nothing to do with ideas! Medved is an as*hat.

lostmotherland on March 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Easy KOOLAID! While I marvel at both your accomplishment and restraint, please keep in mind that this is a Tina post about bias at the NYT.

Sorry but I can only award you 1.45 Bishops.

pain train on March 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM

The phrase “access to” is crucial here. In reality, the situation is “subjection to”. In a free society, one has the right to be stupid and ignorant.

Myno on March 27, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Yes. We all know how easy it is to escape the daily lib tripe.

WryTrvllr on March 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM

It’s outstanding. It will reaffirm your faith in Americuh, just like The Undefeated!

KeninCT on March 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I’m guessing public school product

WryTrvllr on March 27, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Went to see it over the weekend. It specifically steered away from trying to make any argument pro or anti- abortion. The story was about more universal ideas of forgiveness, forgiving one’s self, and being wanted/accepted. I think the leftist reviewers wanted there to be something more to shoot at. Unless you are rabidly into infanticide, there is just not much for abortion rights advocates to be angry about in the movie.

kpguru on March 27, 2012 at 7:53 PM

I’d love to see it, but it isn’t showing anywhere around here. Even with it’s limited release last I saw it was #9 over the weekend (just under 400 screens while the others were at 1200 or more – way more for The Hunger Games).

jrnlz on March 27, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Catsoulis has reviewed other “classics” like “My Big Fat Independent Movie” movie and gems like the mainstream “Making Grace”

“This is a small, intimate documentary that patiently observes the highs and lows of a 30-something couple who want to become parents. That the couple are lesbians is perhaps the most remarkable feature of an unremarkable film; yet, in its very mundanity, the story of Ann Krsul and Leslie Sullivan is quiet proof that families are indeed created, not mandated.”

Of course lesbians adopting is mundane…..lol. What does this tell you about her? Yes, that’s right, she wears her heterophobic,miandranist heart on her sleeve. Apparently,this womans cinematic critiques are driven more by the political and socialistic mendacity these films create than focusing on the real message they deliver.

DevilsPrinciple on March 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

The movie hasn’t even been officially released and it already has only 4.3 stars out of 10 on IMDb. What a shock, right? I refuse to up-vote it until I see it (hopefully soon!) but I will definitely do so once I have. Any joiners?

insomni on March 27, 2012 at 8:34 PM

It’s outstanding. It will reaffirm your faith in Americuh, just like The Undefeated!

KeninCT on March 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM
I’m guessing public school product
WryTrvllr on March 27, 2012 at 6:57 PM

You should see KeninCts’ face, Wry. It looks like Anthony Zerbes just after it was imploded in the hyperbaric chamber of the Bond film, “License to Kill”.

He’s a basket case, that one.

DevilsPrinciple on March 27, 2012 at 8:35 PM

October Baby follows the best artistic traditions

It certainly does. Excellent story, great cinematography, & tremendous acting.

itsnotaboutme on March 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM

It’s interesting that someone made a movie about this.

In the past five years, I’ve seen an abortion special or two on Christian television networks where people who are adults now talked about being survivors of abortion.

One was a woman, who is now, I think, in her 30s, explained that her mother had tried to have her aborted, but she obviously survived it. She now speaks at groups about this issue.

I think in some ways it’s kind of hard to hide behind the rhetoric that it’s only one person’s choice, or that it affects only one person, and that it’s just a “blob of tissue,” when you see a 35 year old woman say, “Hey, my mother tried to abort me, but here I am.”

TigerPaw on March 27, 2012 at 8:42 PM

It’s outstanding. It will reaffirm your faith in Americuh, just like The Undefeated!

KeninCT on March 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Perfect! If there was ever a reason to go see & support a movie, that’s one right there.

Not to mention, I like the story (saw the trailer) and it’s a good a take on faith, redemption & “What-If” as there can be.

Much unlike say “The Road We Traveled”…

BlaxPac on March 27, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Film reviewers enjoy a natural, inalienable right to slam movies, but it’s not fair to review a film’s ideas rather than its artistic quality.

Many reviews of anything are based on personal feelings about the subject matter and who is presenting the subject matter. That’s just the way it is.

Don’t believe me, just go read some reviews of any movie or TV show. Why do socons always have to play the whiny victim?

Moesart on March 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Rottentomatoes – 23% like and 77% dislike – 93% of fans like. Reviewers who hate it almost all state political reasons. Left wing hollywood paranoia. See link to rotten tomatoes site below.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/october_baby_2011/

ArthurMachado on March 27, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Unless you are rabidly into infanticide, there is just not much for abortion rights advocates to be angry about in the movie.

kpguru on March 27, 2012 at 7:53 PM

+100

You may have the core argument that abortion advocates have against it.

itsspideyman on March 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM

In the future, there’s no question that there will be a movie from a conservative viewpoint worth cheering for its quality as much as its message. I just don’t think it’s been made yet.

sobincorporated on March 27, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I guess you haven’t seen “Act of Valor” yet. Go see it.

joe_doufu on March 28, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Unless you are rabidly into infanticide, there is just not much for abortion rights advocates to be angry about in the movie.

kpguru on March 27, 2012 at 7:53 PM

There are those who walk among us who enjoy killing babies, think homosexuality is normal, and indebtedness and entitlement is a way of life. This could be a workable definition of the liberals in this country where rights come without responsibilities, integrity or character.

DevilsPrinciple on March 28, 2012 at 5:57 AM

Many reviews of anything are based on personal feelings about the subject matter and who is presenting the subject matter. That’s just the way it is.

Don’t believe me, just go read some reviews of any movie or TV show. Why do socons always have to play the whiny victim?

Moesart on March 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Speaking of whiny victims,that was the point of Tina’s critique dumba$$.
Why are liberals like “Moesart”so shallow and callous? Apparently because they act like sociopaths, it’s highly probable that their parents really didn’t like them after all.

DevilsPrinciple on March 28, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Rotten Tomatoes has a rotten average of 24% on the tomatometer from reviewers.

The audience, though, gives it 93%.

Alana on March 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I always give much more weight to the audience review than the “professional reviewer”. The “professional” will tell you it it met their self-important standards. The audience will tell you if it’s an enjoyable movie.

swinia sutki on March 28, 2012 at 6:21 AM

it it = if it
(more coffee, please)

swinia sutki on March 28, 2012 at 6:22 AM

It’s doing very well at the box office for a small film, see Pro-life ‘October Baby’ rejected by major studios, blitzes box office.

Gladtobehere on March 28, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Is it as good as Tribulation Force?

Pablo Honey on March 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

You are hopelessly lost.

Ward Cleaver on March 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I demand dominion over my immune system, personally. I’ve got cancer and think it’s against my human rights to have something I don’t choose to have any influence whatsoever over whether I live or die.

Bob's Kid on March 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM