All agree that art is subjective. No opinion is incorrect. It stretches believability, however, when someone cites Peter Weir‘s Age of Sail adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World as boring. And it is entirely acceptable for an A-list celebrity like Russell Crowe to defend one of their all-time masterpieces against such a charge if they are tagged in the slight on Twitter.
This is exactly what happened early Sunday when Crowe, who starred opposite Paul Bettany in the Oscar-nominated 2003 oceanic spectacular, responded to a nine-day-old recommendation from musician Ian McNabb that the film could be used as a soporific during these troublesome, sleep-deprived times.
Crowe called the film, adapted from Patrick O’Brien’s first novel in a 21-part series, “exacting” and “detail-oriented,” and applauded Russell Boyd‘s cinematography and the score by Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon, and Richard Tognetti.
A temporary alliance between Film Twitter and Nautical Twitter joined forces to dunk on McNabb, not unlike the British and Dutch finding common cause in the defeat of the Spanish Armada. McNabb stood his ground, though, chuckling at Crowe’s “kids these days” comment, remarking that he is, indeed, older than the celebrated actor.
In case anyone hasn’t seen Master and Commander here’s a scene of Crowe and Bettany as two Navy bros just jamming out in their quarters, pushing the envelope of early 19th century science and exploration.
Ian McNabb was a member of The Icicle Works, a New Wave band from the 1980s that has recently gotten back together. Over the years he has toured in bands led by Mike Scott and Ringo Starr.
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Inside Bridgerton’s Sexy, Modern Makeover of the Regency Period Drama
— Borat’s Maria Bakalova Had a Sweet Reunion With Jeanise Jones
— Tina Fey and Robert Carlock Wrestle Clumsily With Politics in Mr. Mayor
— Blazing Blonde Bombshell: Barbara Payton’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams
— Bryan Cranston Dances With the Devil in Your Honor
— Meet Bridgerton’s Dreamboat Duke, Regé-Jean Page
— Stephen Colbert Answers the Proust Questionnaire
— From the Archive: San Simeon’s Child
— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.