This research examines the aesthetic elements of contemporary film criticism. Although a restricted field of film production has arisen beside the large-scale field, including an elite critical discourse, the film industry remains relentlessly oriented to its goal of producing commercial products that achieve widespread popular appeal. This differentiation becomes apparent in the types of films validated by publics, peers, and critics. Our exploratory analysis examines whether the dichotomy of artistic versus popular forms of criticism still captures the complexity of films produced under conditions of increased commercialization, globalization, and digitization. We analyzed reviews published in newspapers of record in the United Kingdom and United States of films released in 2007 that received the utmost popular, professional, and critical recognition. Findings reveal that contemporary film criticism incorporates aesthetic elements drawn from popular interests as well as elite art considerations, thereby complicating critics' aesthetic systems and analysts' classificatory schemes.

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ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Popular Communication
Department of Media and Communication

Kersten, A., & Bielby, D. (2012). Film Discourse on the Praised and Acclaimed: Reviewing Criteria in the United States and United Kingdom. Popular Communication, 10(3), 183–200. doi:10.1080/15405702.2012.682931