Martin Scorsese doesn’t care for Rotten Tomatoes. He says so here.
He prefers more thoughtful criticism by film industry insiders.
And he uses the gawdawful mess mother! as an example of a movie that’s been unfairly trashed.
Well, I think Rotten Tomatoes is the greatest thing that’s happened to movie audiences since popcorn. It’s an extremely useful resource that I refer to regularly to plan movie outings or to decide if a movie is worth watching at home. The service has saved me countless hours that might otherwise have been wasted on bad movies, and it has turned me on to all sorts of wonderful fare that might not have made it onto my radar.
My only regret is that I didn’t consult Rotten Tomatoes before going to see mother!
Yeah, I get it. Environmental allegory. I’ve read all the discussion and I’ve carefully considered multiple perspectives. But that doesn’t change the fact that I did not enjoy watching the movie. Call me a Philistine, but I don’t like movies where raging mobs appear out of nowhere to eat the protagonists’ newborn babies.
Why am I writing about this? I don’t know. Just felt like venting.
But since this is a marketing blog, it’s worth mentioning that Rotten Tomatoes is only giving public voice to a dynamic that has influenced arts participation for decades. Rotten Tomatoes is word-of-mouth magnified and made evident for all to see.
It’s easy to understand why film makers loathe it. Movie marketing is all about trying to influence public perceptions before word-of-mouth has a chance to exert its influence. Rotten Tomatoes lets us bypass the marketing hype and learn what other people think, which cuts a lot of the marketing out of the equation.
Will it change the movie industry? Certainly.
It it a bad thing? Depends on who you are. If you’re a person who’s considering a movie and want to know what other people think, it comes in pretty handy. If you’re someone who’s trying to sell an unsatisfying movie, not so much.
Is it going to fuck up the creation of art? Probably not. Good movies are good movies. If filmmakers make good movies that critics and audiences like, there’s nothing to worry about.
And mother!? It’s an amazing movie. It’ll probably be talked about for a long time and may one day work its way up into the ranks of Hollywood’s great films.