Friday, May 19, 2006


Duh Vinci

Didn't read the book. Not going to the movie.

I had planned to pay the price of admission to get myself up-to-speed with a pop cultural phenomenon that had completely eluded me. But the review of "The Da Vinci Code" by my favorite movie critic, the Wall Street Journal's Pulitzer-winning Joe Morgenstern, was the deal-killer:

Glazes the eye, muddles the mind and slows the heart.

His was the strongest voice in the requiem sung by almost the entire critical choir. The Wall Street Journal's subscribers-only website (but not, it appears, the print edition) today provides a rundown of the put-downs, from the U.S. to France to Hungary(?!?).

Lou Lumenick, the New York Post's reviewer, garnered a rare solo role at the top of the movie's full-page ad, by breaking from his brethren with a four-star rave. The better known Roger Ebert, whose gracefully written, intelligent reviews are often a reliable indicator of popular taste, will surely bump Lou tomorrow with his three-star "Superior entertainment...What [Ron] Howard brings to the material is tone and style, and an aura of mystery that is undeniable."

As for me, an occupational hazard of being an arts writer is that my relatives are all appalled when I confess that I have not read Dan Brown's masterpiece. My sister-in-law went so far as to buy it for me as a birthday present. I dutifully started to read, but by Page 151, it was clear that I had better things to do with my time.

When does it comes out in Cliff Notes?

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