I saw this.
Because I was curious about the divide between the Sundance hype and the current more temperate reactions (are they responding to the film or the story behind the guy who made the film?) and because I thought it would be good to separate the art from the artist (if I'm okay with Woody and Polanski films, I should be okay with this right?) and judge the movie on its own merits.
It's terrible. Amateur and obvious and awful, no matter how well intentioned, the film does not work on nearly any level. I get that this was coming in the midst of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and people were primed for a story like this but Jesus Christ, did anyone (at Fox Searchlight or in the audience) actually WATCH this fucking thing?
It's also crazy that people flipped for it (or gave it a pass at all) because Steve McQueen tackled this subject matter 3 years ago and made a masterpiece, which is such a clear and obvious point of comparison and makes this look even worse in every way. (Not that there can't be more stories told about slavery and this period in history because of course there can and Nat Turner is a very specific story that possibly could be told in an interesting way, but this is not it).
I thought Parker was great in Ain't Them Bodies so I take no pleasure in seeing his career go down in flames but with what has come to light about him (and the quality of the film itself), what can you do?