Magazine December 3, 2018, Issue

Critics’ Choice

Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Mary Cybulski/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

Most movies are made for mass audiences; a smaller number are made for Oscar voters; and a few, a very few, seem to be made specifically for critics. And then out of that small fraction there is an even rarer type of movie — the sort that critics like not because it seems to be for them but because it feels like it’s about them.

The most obvious example is Sideways, Alexander Payne’s much-praised 2004 movie about a misanthropic wine aficionado with an unpublished book drinking his way through California wine country. It was impossible to read the reviews and

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