By Gregory Crofton
If you like the movies, you’ll probably find plenty of worth in “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.”
It’s filled with clips from classic films like “Citizen Kane,” (1941), “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975).
Kael was a fascinating figure — a feminist by nature and a powerful and brilliant writer. But, and I mean BUT, there is too much — voiceover, images and interviews — presented too quickly. It can be overwhelming, especially toward the beginning of the doc.
I half-jogged to and from a bathroom break to avoid missing anything. Still I ended up being absent for what director Rob Garver put together about Kael’s review of “Nashville” (1975) and its auteur Robert Altman.
The film also fails to make Kael come alive until its ending when her daughter reveals what she wrote about her mother for her funeral. Essentially she said Kael was not a self-aware person, implying that that trait is what allowed her to be such a strong, at times hurtful, critic.
Regardless of my criticism of this film, once acclimated to its pace and cues, “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael” has a lot to offer, especially if, like Kale, you’re a true fan of “the movies.”