Public Speaking - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Public Speaking Reviews

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March 12, 2017
regardless of his film making notoriety, Scorsese's documentaries are by no means his finest work or some sort of exceptional products of the genre. however, what he lacks in idiosyncrasy he sure as hell makes up for in style warmth and most of all, the intriguing subject matters he picks out to tackle. this film subscribes to the same recipe and it's a laid-back but extensive conversational session with Fran Lebowitz, nostalgically recounting her early New York days. witty, charming, clever. a precious treat all around!
April 11, 2015
Endlessly interesting and funny as hell.
½ August 12, 2014
Fascinating film about a fascinating woman.
½ February 23, 2014
Martin Scorsese's career is so varied. He has made personal independent films, mainstream sequels to classics, remakes, thrillers, horror films, dramas, artsy stuff and mainstream work, as well as gangster movies and period pieces, he has even worked on directing for television shows and now a children's film...and throughout it all he has still managed to occasionally find time for documentaries on subjects he personally finds fascinating. The subject this time is author Fran Lebowitz, a New Yorker who loves to talk, has opinions on everything and enjoys judging. She is a entertaining person to listen to, and most of the documentary is just her talking, telling her opinion of subjects, as well as seeing her speak in public at events. Interesting documentary from HBO and Scorsese, whether or not you enjoy the subject matter or not is entirely up to you.
February 15, 2014
Intelligent, intellectual and completely hilarious glimpse into the brilliance that is Fran Levowitz. A must see.
½ January 15, 2014
Not bad if you like listening to a pretentious know it all for 80 mins.
December 15, 2013
So interesting and funny!
September 4, 2012
Fran Lebowitz talks as fast and passionately as Scorsese himself. From being Jewish, living in New York, homosexual intellectuals and being awake in a texting-obsessed world, it's all so fascinating. This is an excellent snapshot of a remarkably intelligent woman. A woman who "always seems to be right." Scorsese's documentary is also incredibly funny. Lebowitz's wit is brilliantly judgmental and spot on. I particularly love her opinions on technology and Tweeter. It's true, some people shouldn't speak. There are dozens of profound statements throughout, my only complaint would be, it's all over too quickly.
September 1, 2012
"The worst photograph of me at 25 is better than the best picture of me now" - Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz blazes away about herself and her beloved New York City; Scorsese captures bits and pieces of the action. Wonderful stuff - an homage to the complex sentence !

A few of the Waverley scenes cry out for a second take - if only to improve the quality of the sound.
½ August 27, 2012
Uh maybe it's good formally just I don't like Fran lebowitz
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2012
"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.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
June 30, 2012
I see Scorsese's "Public Speaking" as someone who is ready and willing and open to talk about anything that ticks them off about life and what gets them going and that person happens to be about writer Fran Libowitz. Scorsese uses stock footage of James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal and others since they're Libowitz's influences. She is not a bore to watch and I liked when she mentions that she doesn't use a cell phone or a microwave oven when so many people of today do. I am not quite sure why Scorsese wanted to do a documentary about Libowitz or if this is considered a great film. After making serious films dealing with guilt, regret and violence, I suppose this is Scorsese's way of idk mellowing down?
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2012
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.
March 29, 2012
Just wind up your old dvd player and watch the wonderful relic go.
February 19, 2012
A Doc that must be seen by everyone, I have seen it many times and will watch it many more.
January 12, 2012
The most fun I've had with a film in ages. Even if you don't always agree with what Lebowitz is spouting off about, watching (and most importantly, listening) to her spout it is simply amazing.
½ November 18, 2011
Like My Dinner With Andre, we're reminded that a movie can be great while being anything it damn well pleases, like having someone just sit there and speak.
November 2, 2011
She epitomizes why I fell in love with New York.
September 24, 2011
Funny reminder that we suck
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