I’m a Shyamalan fan, which means I kind of agree with this guy at Slate. I like his movies, almost without exception, and not because I’m an undiscerning Philistine. (Okay, maybe I am a Philistine, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong about M. Night.) The Sixth Sense was astonishing, as most critics agreed, but I happened to like Unbreakable better. Signs remains one of my favorite movies ever. The Village, which critics everywhere trashed, was, I think, a profound fable about fear and power. And though I haven’t seen Lady in the Water, I think I’ll probably like it okay. (And hey, he wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little, which wasn’t bad.) Here’s why: Shyamalan still dreams.
- Is he a primadonna? Certainly. Most H’wood directors are.
- Is he narcissistic ad nauseam? Ditto. Ditto.
- Are his movies getting worse? Yup.
- Is he still producing some of the most interesting movies around? You betcha.
Now, he’s no Darren Aronofsky, whose Pi and Requeim for a Dream are two of the most haunting films I’ve ever seen. (His new movie, The Fountain, looks pretty compelling too.) And he’s no Ridley Scott, who manages to make both blockbusters and movies for smart people, sometimes in the same two hours. But I’ll keep watching Shyamalan movies for a while, at least until he makes a real bomb.