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Public Speaking

Public Speaking (2010)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 980

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by New Yorker Martin Scorsese, this documentary traces the career of Big Apple writer Fran Lebowitz, offering numerous examples of her sardonic wit and explaining how she has been at the forefront of the city's culture for nearly four decades. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

May 24, 2011

$23.5k

Rialto Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (1)

"Public Speaking" is an ode to the art of conversation, and it's a delight.

November 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By the end of this funny, insightful doc, you get a sense of an extraordinary mind that both fueled and fed the zeitgeist. Don't miss it.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The quick-witted malcontent, a Morristown, New Jersey, refugee who arrived at Port Authority in 1969, is the best kind of New Yorker: one with a long memory who's averse to nostalgia.

February 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Little seems sacred in Public Speaking, which makes it an invigorating reminder of a media culture that once was fueled by highbrow wit and provocation.

July 12, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

...[a] amber-lit, relaxed bar-stool hangout of a documentary.

June 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

In Scorsese's hands, the film, propelled along by Lebowitz' voice, becomes a wistful tribute to the New York City of the '70s

April 25, 2011 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

We catch only glimpses below the surface of this whirlwind of wit as Scorsese steps out of the way and lets Lebowitz herself run the show.

March 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

...that rare film that delivers truly intelligent, original entertainment, with all credit to Lebowitz.

February 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Because Scorsese is not a Continental sophisticate like Malle, but an American boomer pop artist, Lebowitz's forays into ideas and history are not his forte.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Press | Comments (5)
New York Press

One of the greatest movies based around talk of all time.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: House Next Door
House Next Door

Audience Reviews for Public Speaking

A fun and interesting documentary that rides Lebowitz's charm all the way.
July 21, 2011
Kyle F.
Kyle Fowler

Super Reviewer

"Public Speaking" is a documentary about Fran Lebowitz, writer, wit, speaker and occasional guest star on "Law and Order." What also makes her special is her possessing the special ability to not only think on her feet but express those thoughts coherently. Even then, she does not have a 100% success rate, occasionally stepping in it. One of her insights that I especially liked involves explaining why there are no literary prodigies, as writers have to have lived at least a little to have something to write about. For the record, Lebowitz had her first book published when she was 27.

Sadly, that's one of the rare bits of biographical information we are given in this otherwise entertaining extended interview, so "Public Speaking" may be more intended for fans than newcomers. Rather, the documentary is apparently more interested in a lost New York City(yes, Scorsese, we know you directed "Taxi Driver"). In a wider sense, that could also include thinking fondly on a time when public intellectuals like James Baldwin, William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal debated each other and walked the earth. So, currently, Lebowitz could be considered one of the last of a dying breed.
August 12, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Its just terribly fun to listen to Fran Lebowitz speak regardless of the topic. I'm not sure what I think of Scorsese's stylistic choices that are thrown in at random intervals, but just to see and hear Lebowitz rant for an hour and twenty minutes is a treat.
April 15, 2012
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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