Where is the ‘Crawdads’ review?

I’ve been told that one of the things studio execs tend to ask when someone pitches them an idea for a new movie is “what’s the IP?”

They mean what is intellectual property? What novel, comic book, magazine or newspaper article is the prospective film based on? It seems like it’s a lot easier to sell something if the idea has already been sold.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is great IP; it was a remarkably successful debut novel (author Delia Owens is a respected naturalist and zoologist dabbling in fiction) that remained on the bestseller list for nearly three years. Reese Witherspoon selected it for his book club and signed on as one of the producers for the current film, which I decided not to review.

Because I really didn’t like the book.

In fact, that’s not fair. I didn’t finish the book, I only read a few chapters. I don’t quite remember why I put the book aside, only that I didn’t think it was something I wanted to review. I remember thinking it looked a bit like the 2012 movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (which I really liked).

I was only mildly surprised when the book exploded – novels that become bestsellers rarely appeal to me much. But since I didn’t like the book, it’s better that I don’t criticize the movie.

So I assigned a review. And then, because these things happen, the critic missed the screening. So unless something happens in the next few hours (it’s Tuesday morning, future people), we won’t be getting a review of “Where the Crawdads Sing.”

I reached out to a few publicists and people at the studio to ask for a screening link to the movie, and if someone sends me one, I’ll watch it and rewatch it, although I’m not particularly hopeful.

(I just got my first response; I had no intention of asking her for help since the film is not distributed by her company but it is in my address book so she should know the risks She says it’s not her movie, but she’s passing it on to someone she thinks might be able to help her, so we’re not dead yet.)

Anyway, in the meantime, let’s just say I hope the movie version of “Where the Crawdads Sing” does pretty well. Because great movies have been made from mediocre books. And truly great literature rarely makes it to the screen.

I can watch anything with David Strathairn, and while I didn’t care for the “Under the Banner of Heaven” miniseries (in part because of how the series diverged from Jon Krakauer’s book), I admired British actor Daisy Edgar- Jones’ performance in it. She could play a believable Marsh Girl.

Additionally, Lucy Alibar — who wrote the screenplay for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and the original play from which the film was adapted — wrote the screenplay for “Crawdads.”

So there’s reason to hope that “Crawdads” is a decent movie. I feel like I can give it a fair shake – if I get the chance.

Well, I’m back, Tuesday afternoon, with bad news and good news.

No one came up with a screening link, but the Associated Press offered a review of the film by Katie Walsh, whose work I appreciate. We don’t publish many of his reviews because we try to review everything internally; we think it’s beneficial for our readers to have consistent voices writing about movies that they can form some kind of relationship with, even if they know they want to avoid movies that a given reviewer likes. Many dispatch reviews don’t meet our quality standards – we don’t want book report type articles or positive or negative verdicts. (There are thread reviews that we won’t post.)

But Katie is fine. We will lead her review and lead the section with Keith Garlington’s review of ‘Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris’, the IP of which is a 1958 novel by American sportswriter Paul Gallico titled ‘Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris’.

I feel a bit of the Mandela effect with this movie – I could have sworn it came out a few years ago. (It has been adapted for television three times, most recently in 1992, with Angela Lansbury, Diana Rigg and Omar Sharif in the cast.)

My confusion is more attributable to the fact that I was vaguely familiar with the novel – I remember it in my aunt’s library as a child – and probably heard stories about it when filming began in October 2020 I’ve probably read stories about the production getting together even before that. Either way, Keith and just about every other reviewer who’s seen it loves it.

So it’s squared. Now if I can just find out something about “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank”.


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