Movie Article

Sob Story

Wanna make an EW movie critic cry? Here's how. Just show Owen Gleiberman ''Sid & Nancy'' or ''It's a Wonderful Life'' -- and come bearing tissues

Chloe Webb, Gary Oldman, ... | THE CRYING GAME ''Sid & Nancy'''s titular characters
Image credit: Sid & Nancy: Everett Collection
THE CRYING GAME ''Sid & Nancy'''s titular characters

Wanna make an EW movie critic cry? Here's how

What movies make you reach for the tissue box? -- Henricka
It always shocks people to learn that critics can be regular crybabies too. My buttons get pushed by a lot of the same movies that push everyone else's: ''Casablanca,'' ''Titanic,'' the moment in ''The Wizard of Oz'' when Dorothy tells the Scarecrow, ''I think I'll miss you most of all!'' To me, ''It's a Wonderful Life'' is the great weeper because of the way that it provokes tears out of sheer happiness. Beyond that, here are three moments that never fail to reduce me to jelly: the taxicab-from-heaven finale of ''Sid & Nancy''; Ronee Blakley singing ''Dues'' in Nashville; and the opening credits of ''The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,'' which drench you in the most sublimely sad music in movie history.

Why do some movies seem better on a second viewing? -- Joe
This is true of good movies, but some bad ones, too: The second time, you know the story, and so you're freer to savor the nuances -- an actor's gesture, an exquisitely timed jump cut -- that are the real essence of moviemaking.

Send questions to askthecritic@ew.com, or post them below.

Originally posted Jul 28, 2003 Published in issue #721 Aug 01, 2003 Order article reprints
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