When a cryptogropher and a symbologist get together, it usually ends in tears

In today's New York Times, lovable scamp A.O. Scott manages to lambast both the new Da Vinci Code movie and the Dan Brown book, which he calls a "best-selling primer on how not to write an English sentence."

"To their credit, the director and his screenwriter, Akiva Goldsman ... have streamlined Mr. Brown's story and refrained from trying to capture his, um, prose style. 'Almost inconceivably, the gun into which she was now staring was clutched in the pale hand of an enormous albino with long white hair.' Such language -- note the exquisite 'almost' and the fastidious tucking of the 'which' after the preposition -- can only live on the page."


He doesn't have very nice things to say about the film, either.

"Through it all, Mr. Hanks and Ms. Tautou stand around looking puzzled, leaving their reservoirs of charm scrupulously untapped. Mr. Hanks twists his mouth in what appears to be an expression of professorial skepticism, and otherwise coasts on his easy, subdued geniality. Ms. Tautou, determined to ensure that her name will never again come up in an Internet search for the word "gamine," affects a look of worried fatigue. In spite of some talk (a good deal less than in the book) about the divine feminine, chalices and blades and the spiritual power of sexual connection, not even a glimmer of eroticism flickers between the two stars. Perhaps it's just as well. When a cryptographer and a symbologist get together, it usually ends in tears."

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