The movie Laurel Canyon left me frustrated. Everytime the dialogue got to a crucial moment the scene ended. It was as if the writer decided that when the writing got difficult it was time to move on. Compare that to something like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Kathleen Gilroy who loved the movie and saw it twice called it “atmospheric.” The last movie I saw that qualified as atmospheric was Lost in Translation and with that one I felt strangely unsatisfied as well. Nice to look at but left me wanting much more and better writing. So, is making an “atmospheric” movie just an excuse not to write the hard parts? I'm asking Chip Phillips, an expert in film criticism to weigh in here.

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