The Politics of Whit Stillman

Hollywood has been awfully hard on the rich. They come off as snobbish villains (Titanic) or snobbish fools (Gosford Park). At least, that’s what the writer and director Whit Stillman might have us believe. In 1990 he set out to redeem the image of the bourgeoisie with his first film, Metropolitan. This month Criterion released it on DVD, complete with a critical essay by Luc Sante, reminding us of the romantic purity of debutantes in a world of new money and tabloid culture. But in the 16 years since the movie’s release, Stillman’s defense of wealth has had a side effect, slightly unsettling to some of his fans: He has become known as one of the few Hollywood directors that conservatives love. Read the review in Slate.

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