‘What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael’ Film Review: Firebrand Film Critic Remembered in Fascinating Documentary

  • The Wrap
It’s hard to believe with all the divergent opinions floating around today about movies on Twitter, Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and dozens of other outlets, that there was a time when a handful of influential film critics wielded the power to make or break a movie.

And the most powerful of those critics was Pauline Kael, who held sway with a sharp tongue and corrosive wit at the New Yorker from 1967 to 1989. To see Rob Garver’s affectionate documentary about her career, “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael,” is to be once again swept away by the excitement of cinema as she experienced it.

Born on a chicken farm in Northern California and raised in San Francisco, Kael was an outsider to the New York art scene, and that otherness gave her the temperament and cocksure confidence to find her own voice. She desperately wanted to be an artist,
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