Nicolas Cage Has Some Strong Feelings About The Decline Of Film Criticism

Nicolas Cage is ready to ignite audiences in The Runner (possibly a literal thing, you never know), but not all is well in the realm of Cage. It would seem that a man with the refined tastes and interests that run the engine we know as Nicholas Cage is troubled by the current state of film criticism. Gone are the days where films apparently stood on their own and critics chose to adhere to the academic standards of their craft while critiquing the work.

Now we have an endless cycle of news and attention, with people devouring even the most mundane portions of someone’s life (or the hair they choose to wear on their head). That’s where the problems come into play for Cage in a recent interview with Time. The old ways of criticism are gone and now it’s all based on what happens off the screen apparently:

I think that there was a period in film commentary where it was like the gold standard—I would cite someone like Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert or Paul Schrader—where they were really determining based on the work itself, the film itself, the performance itself. And now, with the advent of this kind of TMZ culture, it sadly seems to have infiltrated the vanguard of film commentary. I see these reviews sometimes where I think, well, you have a right to say whatever you want about my work, and I will listen whether it’s good or bad and see if there’s something that I might work with, but personal issues don’t have a place in film commentary.

If this was Nicolas Cage of the early 1990s, saying these things around the release of Leaving Las Vegas and on his way to Oscar glory, I might be willing to buy it. Instead we have the version of Nicolas Cage that has starred in numerous off kilter films, including two National Treasure films, Bangkok Dangerous, two Ghost Rider films, a remake of Left Behind, and an infamous remake of The Wicker Man. This is not a man who would be treated well for the cinematic value of his films. And I say that as a guy who enjoys Nicolas Cage on an ironic and genuine level.

Wild At Heart is a bad ass movie, Raising Arizona is hilarious, Face/Off, Con-Air, and The Rock are action perfection, and Leaving Las Vegas is great. Plus there’s so much more. But then he does Season Of The Witch and it all goes to hell. Just don’t expect Nicolas Cage to say that:

They’re all my children. Whether they worked or didn’t work, I grew by taking risks and dealing with critical backlash. I was OK with it because I felt that I was still finding things in my instrument that made me remain fresh or excited. I got into film acting because I wanted to be James Dean. We lost him at a very young age—he was only 24—but I’m 51 going on 52, so there’s only so many times you can act like James Dean. I had to find new ways of expressing myself that kept me fascinated with film performance.

I just find it really hard to believe that he was fascinated with his performance in Left Behind. It was hard to watch even on Christian film standards. And on the flip side, fascination is the only reason anybody watches The Wicker Man. Check out the full interview over here or just enjoy this classic supercut of Cage’s hair from over the years:

(Via Time )