Producer Declares New Yorker Critic Persona Non Grata
New Yorker critic David Denby has been barred from all future press screenings of films produced by Scott Rudin after Denby broke the embargo on reviews for David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . Denby's review, which will appear in this week's edition of the magazine, describes the film as "a bleak but mesmerizing piece of filmmaking." The movie is due to be released on December 26, and critics are expected to withhold publication of reviews until the release date. IndieWire.com obtained a copy of an email exchange between Rudin and Denby, which begins with Rudin writing in a midnight message on December 12 "You're going to break the review embargo on Dragon Tattoo? I'm stunned that you of all people would even entertain doing this. It's a very, very damaging move and a total contravention of what you agreed. You're an honorable man." Denby then responds with a lengthy explanation that begins "The system is destructive Grown-ups are ignored for much of the year, cast out like downsized workers, and then given eight good movies all at once in the last five weeks of the year. A magazine like 'The New Yorker' has to cope as best as it can with a nutty release schedule. It was not my intention to break the embargo, and I never would have done it with a negative review." Rudin rejects the explanation, writing, "Your seeing the movie was conditional on your honoring the embargo, which you agreed to do. The needs of the magazine cannot trump your word. The fact that the review is good is immaterial, as I suspect you know. You've very badly damaged the movie by doing this, and I could not in good conscience invite you to see another movie of mine again." Sony's publicity chief Andre Caraco has rushed in to ensure that no repetition of the incident occurs, saying in a statement that Denby's "breach violates a trust and undermines a system designed to help journalists do their job and serve their readers."