The idiosyncratic film critic was fired but the reason is unclear. One muddled report seems to indicate that he may have fudged a review for “Source Code”
If the phrase, “You’ll land on your feet” ever applied to anyone, it’s Elvis Mitchell.
Having been let go – or quit – most of the highest profile gigs in the film-criticism profession, Mitchell has apparently been fired by the Movieline blog after just three months there.
According to Deadline Hollywood, which like Movieline is owned by MMC, Mitchell was fired after a review for the Summit Entertainment thriller “Source Code” was found with a wayward fact.
But that doesn't explain much. And Mitchell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. IndieWire's Anne Thompson, who once edited his work at Premiere, offers this entertaining context:
"Mitchell is not good with money. Or meeting deadlines. Filing expenses. Or doing what he says he’s going to do. He has left or lost one job after another, from NPR to the New York Times. Famously, he never turned up for a job he had accepted at the L.A. Times, nor for a job as a development exec for Sony. He has expensive tastes. He likes Versace suits and staying at the Four Seasons in L.A. Here’s Mitchell in a nutshell. At Sundance, I was standing in line at a snack bar when juror Jason Reitman accosted Mitchell, asking him why he hadn’t returned any of his emails or phone calls. Mitchell demurred."
An email to Movieline's general manager Mike Speier asking for an explanation has yet to elicit a response.
Thompson points out that Movieline is in cost-cutting mode, having "cut off all freelancers a few weeks ago, including Alonso Duralde."
Indeed, details into the exact cause of Mitchell’s termination are a bit hazy. But according to the Deadline report, he was shown a final cut of “Source Code” in New York on March 24, then filed his review March 31.
Film director Duncan Jones then drew scrutiny to this review, noting that Mitchell criticized the film for a scene during which actor Jeffrey Wright is smoking a pipe – that pipe was only in initial drafts of the screen play, and never made the final cut.
Did Mitchell review “Source Code” based on a screenplay? Deadline didn’t confirm that, quoting Mitchell only as saying there was a “misunderstanding.”
In any event, the dreadlocked Mitchell — who was just hired by Movieline in early January — appears to be out of a job once again.
In December, he was dropped from Roger Ebert’s new “At the Movies,” a program he was set to co-host.
This follows a sweet gig running a New York office for Sony — a job for which he never showed up — as well as a stint as a film critic for the New York Times.
Mitchell still has one job, though we're pretty sure it doesn't pay the bills: "The Treatment," a film interview show for KCRW, a local National Public Radio station.