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What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael


If you are a movie buff and love to read film reviews whether you agree with them or not, you'll love the new documentary WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL.

Blazing a trail for women in what was almost exclusively a man's role in the sixties, Kael blistered many an ego with her witty, harsh and intelligent reviews that often flew in the face of popular criticism.

She hated Kubrick's 2001 and was the only major critic to champion Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde", saving it from box office doom when her New Yorker review praised its trail blazing violence and dark humor.

She famously praised "The Last Tango in Paris" and her complete review became a full two page ad for the film in the New York Times, escalating the film into a massive box office hit.

With wall-to-wall clips of Kael on talk shows and in interviews, along with shots of movie theatres of the day and clips from the films being discussed, it's entertaining and informative.

William Peter Blatty is seen blasting her on Carson for her review of "The Exorcist". John Boorman, Francis Ford Coppola praise her, while Norman Mailer destroys her on Dick Cavett for her opinions.

David Lean was so devastated by her comments to his face about "Lawrence of Arabia" that he considered giving up directing for several years.

Jerry Lewis manages to insult her and compliment her at the same time, saying "She's never said a good thing about me yet. That dirty old broad. But she's probably the most qualified critic in the world"

Hearing her opinions, I'm inspired to see more Robert Altman films and re-watch some old classics.

A trailblazer and a brilliant writer, Kael hates half the movies I love, but it doesn't make it any less enjoyable to revisit her smart, informed opinions on film. I think she's be pleased with how her legacy has been captured. I'll give it a B.

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