The long-awaited public education documentary “Waiting for Superman” opens today in a few cities, and the reviews, somewhat mixed, are starting to trickle in. The New York Times calls the movie “powerful and alarming.” USA Today says “it’s hard to deny the power of (director Davis) Guggenheim’s lingering shots on these children, waiting on a superhero who isn’t going to come.” New York Magazine’s David Edelstein calls it “one of the most galvanizing documentaries I’ve ever seen.”
On the other side of the ledger, The Nation, in a lengthy article, pans the film and takes a swipe at more kindly disposed reviewers, calling “Waiting for Superman” “a moving but vastly oversimplified brief on American educational inequality. Nevertheless, it has been greeted by rapturous reviews.” The Village Voice calls the movie “absurdly glib.” “Guggenheim’s insistence on not engaging with the injustices that children of certain races and classes face outside of school makes his reiteration of the obvious—that “past all the noise and the debate, nothing will change without great teachers”—seem all the more willfully naïve.”
Overall, critics love “Superman.” On the Rotten Tomatoes website, which compiles reviews, 91 percent of professional film critics gave the movie a positive review, and 78 percent of “civilian” reviewers gave it a thumbs-up. The movie doesn’t make it to the provinces (including Denver) until October 12.
What’s on tap:
The Western State College trustees meet from 8 a.m. to noon at the College Center in Gunnison (agenda).