In the July 6 issue, resident movie critic Tony Medley’s review of Larry Crowne prompted a reader response. An excerpt of his review is below, followed by the reader’s letter:
“Although Hanks has the reputation as an easy-going nice guy, his films are often filled with leftwing ideology. But he doesn‘t limit his biases to politics: Angels and Demons and its predecessor, The Da Vinci Code (2006), were both anti-Catholic.”
Dear Mr. Medley:
I read your review of LARRY CROWNE with great interest. While your view of the film seems to gibe with the vast majority of critics, what concerns me is the couple of paragraphs in your review regarding Hanks’ supposed anti-Catholic bias. If you follow that criteria, then any filmmaker or actor or author or even an artist who creates something that criticizes or shows a contradictory viewpoint about something is “anti”-something. This makes no sense. Spielberg may make a film that has aliens that want to destroy the world but that does not mean he thinks all aliens are bad (remember ET?). James Cameron may make a film that has a military guy as the villain, but that does not mean that he thinks the military is all bad. So I am wondering where you think Hanks’ anti-Catholic bias is? Considering that he is a devout practicing Orthodox, and I have not heard of any recent run-ins between the two denominations, this accusation is absurd at best and defamatory at worst. His politics may be to the left of center, but he has played patriotic Americans in FORREST GUMP, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR, and to say that appearing in the two films based on Dan Brown’s books “tars him with the brush of intolerance,” is one of the greatest leaps of logic I have seen since Evel Knievel tried to leap that canyon, and both you and he missed-by quite a bit. The most he could possibly be accused of is appearing in two lousy movies and having an even lousier hair style in the first film. How can Hanks possibly be intolerant while being so determined to honor America’s soldiers, our space program, our founding fathers (all signs of an movie star determined to make films “filled with left-wing ideology”) or playing an AIDS patient-that last one alone shoots down your argument in flames and buries it. And considering that many people on the right took FORREST GUMP to their bosom, if he had an “agenda,” don’t you think he would have tried to make a film that the right would not have loved so much?
Next time, stick to what you know and review the films and leave your own political bias out of it.
– Jeff Heise