The New York Times has submitted film critic Manohla Dargis for a Pulitzer Prize, and the move has caused something of a stir, both because she's new to the paper and well, some people just don't really like her reviews. Me, I enjoy her writing because it's never boring: you can count on Dargis to be frank, sometimes funny, and often a bit political; even when you disagree with her, at least you're interested. Others, however, find her opinions grating (A critic with opinions? The nerve!), and she's apparently criticized by some colleagues for her tendency to summarize plots. According to one former Times employee, "You're not supposed to read her if you don't want to know what's going to happen."

However, since the last Times critic to win a Pulitzer was the often vicious book critic Michiko Kakutani, it's clear that controversy isn't going to hurt Dargis' nomination. If she happens to win, she'll be in some pretty good company: over the past 36 years, only two film critics - Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal and some guy named Roger Ebert - have received a Pulitzer.

Edited to add that a third film critic - Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post - also won the Pulitzer in the time frame mentioned. Thanks for James for the correction.


[via RiskyBiz Blog]