I don’t understand people who say that “Citizen Kane” may be influential technically, but it’s not an enjoyable movie to watch. I’ve seen it many times, and it’s one of my top five movies. If I’m flipping around and land on it, I can’t turn it off. It’s just one great scene or line of dialogue after another. And the story of seeing the girl with the parasol on the ferry 40 years before, never meeting her, but thinking about her every day since, is the type of thing that maybe you have to have some years on you, like I do, to really appreciate.
For most overrated, though, I agree with “Lost In Translation.” I’d throw in “Close Encounters” (fell asleep the first time I tried to sit through that), plus “The English Patient,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Gandhi,” and just about any other high-toned, three-hour, slow-moving epic whose intention wasn’t to entertain audiences but to make Hollywood feel good about itself for showering it with Oscars.
I'm with you 100% in your on-target evaluation. When Kane comes on, I completely cast aside all of its (well-deserved) reputation for technical innovation, use of black and white and such.
I watch it for the sheer enjoyment of an intriguing tale, well told with excellent character development and good pacing of the plot development. I think maybe some don't like Kane because they watch it with an excessive sense of ponderous seriosity, treating it like a relic instead of a vastly entertaining film.
And the portion you mentioned (Leland played by Joseph Cotten) as he rewinds his memories in his advanced age is just superb. "...about that cigar..." :-)
I liked Gandhi.
Agree about the rest, though.