Abused and abandoned, Marsh Girl rises from the swamp

Brent Northup

Where the Crawdads Sing

At the Cinemark/Myrna Loy

We all wish, when reckoning comes, that our acts of kindness will be remembered and our moments of selfishness forgotten or forgiven.

Movies face their judgment day, too.

Some critics are routinely harsh, seizing upon the flaws and twisting their quill. Others live in Lake Wobegon, where all the films are strong, good looking and above average.

I prefer to read critics who are, at core, compassionate souls, but nevertheless open-minded, noting weaknesses, applauding strengths. Roger Ebert was one who found a balance between justice and mercy – a gentle soul, who would still fillet the bottom fish.

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Olivia Newman’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” is easy to dismiss, even ridicule, but it’s also a movie with a heart that draws honest tears while inspiring young women.

So, channeling my inner Ebert, I’m not going to take cheap shots, but choose, this time, to love the best, and forget the rest.

Delia Owens’ 2018 runaway bestseller is about a girl who lives alone in the marshlands of North

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