Martin Scorsese's Criticism
Martin Scorsese taking a swipe at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a pop culture juggernaut that will probably swallow all of Hollywood at some point, has become a topic of major discussion in the film world. Director Martin Scorsese kicked off the trend, claiming that Marvel movies "are not cinema."
"I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
Francis Ford Coppola Agrees
Director Francis Ford Coppola also weighed in on the debate, offering even harsher criticism than Scorsese.
"Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is."
Please stop asking these old school directors about movies that are mostly made for children. Of course they are going to hate them and of course there is going to be backlash.
Natalie Portman Defends Marvel
Natalie Portman, who plays Dr. Jane Foster in the MCU, was asked about Scorsese's critique by , and she had a pretty great answer. She told The Hollywood Reporter at the 6th annual Los Angeles Dance Project Gala:
"I think there's room for all types of cinema. There's not one way to make art. I think that Marvel films are so popular because they're really entertaining and people desire entertainment when they have their special time after work, after dealing with their hardships in real life."
Portman, who has done many art films and won an Oscar (out of three nominations), certainly knows a thing or two about cinema.
Not The Only One To Speak Out
Portman isn't the only Marvel regular who has weighed in. Karen Gillan claimed that they were "absolutely cinema," and Robert Downey Jr. joked that people seemed to like them. Director James Gunn has also weighed in on the debate, pointing out that quality can fluctuate no matter the genre. Samuel L. Jackson also offered his two cents, saying:
"I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies."
Perhaps Scorsese and Coppola should just let people enjoy things.