Can a movie be too long?
Weekend Chatter: Are This Season's Oscar Movies Too Long?
It’s a loaded question. A movie that flies by for one audience member might feel like an eternity to the person they are sitting next to. There are certain movies we wish could go on forever, and others we actually walk out on.
This discussion gathered some heat earlier this week when a Variety columnist tackled the extended lengths of this season’s awards contenders, many of which are making their way to theaters as we speak.
“Not even Lincoln stands as an exception to my strong personal feeling that most movies should hover around two hours -- 90 minutes for kidpics and comedies,” wrote Josh Dickey. “I can't be the only one who gets physically uncomfortable around the two-hour mark, and more mentally mushy with each minute thereafter. And I know I'm not the only one who thinks filmmakers could be more ruthless with their darlings.”
Our sister site, Movies.com, opened up the conversation to its readers, summarizing, “It’s not the length that counts but what you do with it.”
Do these run times give you pause?
- Cloud Atlas: 2 hours, 52 minutes
- Lincoln: 2 hours, 29 minutes
- Anna Karenina: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- Zero Dark Thirty: 2 hours, 38 minutes
And you can count on Les Miserables and The Hobbit being longer than normal. When you are grabbing a ticket to a movie, do you even look at run times? Does that concern you? Or are you just geared up to see the movie that you are dying to see, and it doesn’t matter how long it’s going to be? I’ll admit that I always check run times, and I’m much happier if a film clocks in around 90 minutes. But like everyone else, it depends on the situation.
How do you feel? Does a movie’s run time affect your decision to go see it in a theater? Or do you feel, “The longer, the better?” Share your thoughts.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.
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