AUDIENCE & PURPOSEWho is your audience?• Assume that s/he has not yet seen the film.• Convince your reader either to see the movie or not.• How many stars do you give the film?
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: PLACE EARLY IN THE ESSAY• What kind of background information does the reader need in order to understand the review? Place this information in a separate list, either at the beginning or end of your1. Genre; type of film essay:2. Basic thematic information Title of film; director; year released3. Other relevant information Principal Actors Major awards won - - if any. The amount of stars you have given the film:
PLOT SUMMARY/OVERVIEW: PLACE EARLY IN THE ESSAY• Yes, you do want to provide a brief overview of the plot, but . . .Don’t reveal the ending!Don’t spend more than 4-6 sentences telling the reader “what the movie is about.”
FILM CRITERIA: THESIS/CLAIM• Remember: Criteria will vary depending upon the genre of the film. Comedy vs Drama Action vs Sci-Fi Documentary vs Feature Film
SOME BASIC QUESTIONS USED TO FORM A JUDGMENT/ ARRIVE AT A THESIS/CLAIMA. Realism--does the film conform to our view of reality? Doesit seem to ring true to life as we live it, in itssettings, conflicts, storylines, etc.?B. Plausibility--does the action make sense within the world ofthe film? Esp. applicable to a non-realistic film, such as fantasyor action.C. Coherence--does the film "hang together" and make sense insome unified way, even if the arrangement is complex? Esp.appropriate for narrative structure.D. Aesthetic value--is the overall form of the film pleasing?Especially, appropriate for a focus on techniques.
MORE QUESTIONSE. Ethics--does the film affirm or reaffirm important socialvalues?F. Relevance--does the film seem relevant to our times andconcerns? Does it deal with important social, political, or othertypes of issues?G. Complexity & originality--does the film engage us beyondsuperficial concerns and make us think? Is it original in itsstory, structure, technique, or?
NOW, SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM: BODY OF THE ESSAY• Why, exactly, do you like/dislike this film? Analyze your reasons.Examine some of the following areas and relate them back toyour thesis/claim. Plot Script Acting Main “message” Directing Visual elements including lighting, camera angles, etc. Sound track Other elements that may be important to a particular film
PROVIDE SPECIFIC EVIDENCE• Provide specific evidence from the film to back up your argument.• Example: Heather Ledger does a great job as the Joker in The Dark Knight.• Evidence: Heath Ledger’s Joker is a shambling, hissing, lipsmacking lago in facial scars and clown makeup, and one of the scariest nihilists ever to slither into a summer popcorn film. (Ledger deserves all the posthumous accolades he’s received . . .) – Ross Douthat
DO NOT FORGET• Address the Opposing Side (Those critics with whom you disagree.)Although Roger Ebert says, “Ledger ismagnificent . . .”While Roger Ebert’s observations about HeathLedger’s acting are mostly valid . . .
SOME MODELS FOR ADDRESSING THE OPPOSITIONMany critics found the movie _______________________.While the movie is _____________, I would argue that _____________because ___________.Roger Ebert claims that______________________, and I have mixed feelingsabout this view. On the one hand, I agree that_____________________. Onthe other hand, I still insist that _______________________.Though I concede that_______________________.I still maintain that _______________________.
WORKS CITED PAGE• Include at least two reviews that disagree with your point of view (at least in some ways.)• You may include a third review, perhaps one that agrees with you.• If you do any research about a particular film, please include the source of any information you provide. DO LIST ROTTEN TOMATOES OR THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE if you use information about the movie aside from: date of release, actors, year of release, awards. You do not need to cite this information for this essay.