Nobody's Perfect: Writings from The New Yorker

Nobody s Perfect Writings from The New Yorker Anthony Lane on Con Air Advance word on Con Air said that it was all about an airplane with an unusually dangerous and potentially lethal load Big deal You should try the lunches they serve out of New

  • Title: Nobody's Perfect: Writings from The New Yorker
  • Author: Anthony Lane
  • ISBN: 9780375714344
  • Page: 226
  • Format: Paperback
  • Anthony Lane on Con Air Advance word on Con Air said that it was all about an airplane with an unusually dangerous and potentially lethal load Big deal You should try the lunches they serve out of Newark Compared with the chicken napalm I ate on my last flight, the men in Con Air are about as dangerous as balloons Anthony Lane on The Bridges of Madison County I got mAnthony Lane on Con Air Advance word on Con Air said that it was all about an airplane with an unusually dangerous and potentially lethal load Big deal You should try the lunches they serve out of Newark Compared with the chicken napalm I ate on my last flight, the men in Con Air are about as dangerous as balloons Anthony Lane on The Bridges of Madison County I got my copy at the airport, behind a guy who was buying Playboy s Book of Lingerie, and I think he had the better deal He certainly looked happy with his purchase, whereas I had to ask for a paper bag Anthony Lane on Martha Stewart Super skilled, free of fear, the last word in human efficiency, Martha Stewart is the woman who convinced a million Americans that they have the time, the means, the right, and damn it the duty to pipe a little squirt of soft cheese into the middle of a snow pea, and to continue piping until there are fifty to sixty stuffed peas raring to go For ten years, Anthony Lane has delighted New Yorker readers with his film reviews, book reviews, and profiles that range from Buster Keaton to Vladimir Nabokov to Ernest Shackleton Nobody s Perfect is an unforgettable collection of Lane s trademark wit, satire, and insight that will satisfy both the long addicted and the not so familiar.

    One thought on “Nobody's Perfect: Writings from The New Yorker”

    1. I have no idea how orders the list of reviews for any given book and, in general, I don't really care. That said, I found it striking that the review that makes the top of the list for "Nobody's Perfect" corresponded to one of only two 1-star ratings for the book. It's a petulant "review" -- a little package of sputtering invective wrapped around "brian's" dissatisfaction that Anthony Lane is not Pauline Kael. In the ensuing comment thread, the most common charges against Lane are that (i) he i [...]

    2. i HATE anthony lane. hate. hate. hate. this smarmy jackass writes as if he considers himself a wit equal to that of waugh or wodehouse. piss off you unfunny and insincere bore. ridiculous that he holds the job that pauline kael once held. she could be majorly infuriating, stubborn, and just plain wrong but, shit. she loved movies. and laid her ass on the line in defense (or offense) of one. lane, that coward, doesn't put shit out there. fuck him.

    3. When I can, I read an essay of Anthony Lane's out of this book before going to bed. I have to admit that when I pick up the New Yorker, I flip to the back to see if he's written the week's movie review (No offense, David Denby). His writing style is smooth, like a good drink. If he has a bone to pick with a certain director, actor or other figure he can be scathing and ruthless. On the other hand when he something moves him artistically he is sincere about his feelings. While he is intelligent a [...]

    4. This a great before bedtime read. Life to busy to focus in on a novel? Pick one or two reviews a night and be satifisfied. New Yorker reviewer weighs in on 90's movies and personalities you thought you never cared about.

    5. Anthony Lane's New Yorker article (a few years ago) about his uncle's PG Wodehouse collection introduced me to Plum's wonderful corpus of literature. I owe the man something in return; hence this review. I haven't read a more entertaining anthology in a long time. Nobody's Perfect is a nice cross-section of AL at his best: biting, well-informed, acerbic, and humorous. Though they differ wildly in political ideology, Mr. Lane reminds me of P. J. O'Rourke, with his take-no-prisoners style. Though [...]

    6. I'm a book savorer. Like, when I like a book, and I like the writing, I like to read it slow, in morsels. And even though this is ostensibly a book of criticism, which is ostensibly "secondary" literature, there is much to savor here. And so easy to do so, as the film reviews are only a couple pages at most, and the essays don't meander much past 12 pages. So I read this book over the course of a little more than 2 years, and loved it all. The real difference between Lane's criticism and other c [...]

    7. "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, people made movies with people in them, and some of those movies made sense. Then something happened, and the people started to vanish from the movies, along with most of the sense."Thus begins Anthony Lane's review of The Phantom Menace. He goes on to note:"It is, of course, profoundly gratifying that The Phantom Menace should emerge as a work of almost unrelieved awfulness. It means, for one thing, that the laugh is on all those dweebs who have spen [...]

    8. PA, that Anthony Lane is your movie reviewer while Roger Ebert (obliquely disparaged by Lane himself in his introduction) is mine says a lot about the two of us. Check out a few of Ebert's reviews online - or better yet, one of his books - and you'll see what I mean.Anthony Lane is snarky, hilarious and one of the most creative insulters I've ever encountered - Elizabeth Berkley, for example, probably cries herself to sleep every night. Lane is the guy you want to be laughing with in a corner at [...]

    9. Anthony Lane is scathingly funny and an excellent reviewer and not just because I usually agree with him. This compilation of his New Yorker film reviews and some other essays (the one about reading the New York Times bestsellers is great) is a keeper. My absolute favorite is his account of aRocky Horror-style sing-alongSound of Musiche attended in London. "There werea load of people who looked like giant parcels. I didn't get it. 'Who are they?' I said to the nun who was having a quick cigarett [...]

    10. Anthony Lane, where have you been all my life!?! (Thanks, Emily!) Let's just put it this way: his review of "Indecent Proposal" made me actually go out and rent the "film" for the first time. And yes, Woody Harrelson in a shaggy wig pretending to be a high-school student IS "one of those preposterously, sublimely wrong moments that make you glad to be a moviegoer." And then there's this gem from his review of "Contact:" "She does get laid in the film, but only by Matthew McConaughey, and that do [...]

    11. I like Anthony Lane's writing. It is clear and he is often funny. He is also such an accomplished culture vulture that I feel like an absolute rube reading him sometimes. Yes, I like movies, but I don't live for them or yearn to analyze them. I've seen movies by Eisentstein, Kubrick, Buñuel, Hitchcock, Wilder, Da Sica, and even the Farrelly brothers, but I don't really understand it all. I can't lavish that much energy or mental power–I lack that level of mental power–to see where Orson Wel [...]

    12. If Rachel is willing to give up 50 points of her IQ for a good voice or something like that (correct me Rachel), then I'm also willing to give up 50 points of my IQ to be able to write like Anthony Lane. Brilliant, funny, playful, and full of images and imagery, this collection is a sampling of AL's film reviews as well as his one-off articles on topics ranging from Martha Stewart's cookbook to Evelyn Waugh's short short stories to Evans Walker's photography. I savored every page, every sentence [...]

    13. Anthony Lane is a marvel. More astonishingly literate, funny, and perspicacious in one paragraph of a movie review than other critics can hope to be in a career. Let alone his always being right -- putting words to (at least) my own thoughts on the movies I see. But it is the accretive effect of the movie reviews taken in sequence in the book, the book reviews that follow, and then finally the profiles that really blows the hair back. His essay on the joys of reading cookbooks -- not working fro [...]

    14. While you might not always agree with Lane's reviews (I admit that his opinions and mine are quite congruent), his writing is pure New York -- trenchant, pungent, and very often bitchy (while it's too recent to be included in this collection, see if you can get your hands on his review of Revenge of the Sith). This book collects not only a Lane's writing on film, but also his writing on more general topics. His evaluation of the New York Times fiction best-seller list is as opinionated as his fi [...]

    15. I keep wanting to write "Anthony Lane is the best kind of film critic" but I don't really know if that's right. Jonathan Rosenbaum referred to Lane as a stand-up comic. Forgetting that this is supposed to be an insult, I think I know what's irking Rosenbaum. Reading Lane isn't necessarily going to enliven a film for you, he's not the deepest of critics, and he doesn't wear his smarts on his sleeve. I don't think his aim is to dig into a film and raise your appreciation of it -- at least, not usu [...]

    16. The movie reviews are the best, of course -- bursts of snarky erudition, which dismantle the ridiculousness of so many films yet all the while manage to avoid being ill-tempered or condescending. The review of "Indecent Proposal" is very funny. For some reason, his New Yorker reviews now are all about movies that he actually likes, which is helpful if you share his taste, but not if what you've really got an appetite for is the light-touched disdain. Thankfully, there's a heaping dose of that in [...]

    17. A good book for picking up and reading a review then moving on. Some of Lane's reviews are dead on, others didn't jibe with me, and others were for things I had never seen nor read.Bridges of Madison County, both the book and movie reviews (2 separate) are perfect for my taste. My husband burst out laughing then read them to me through the giggles (and he's never read the book). Later I re-read the reviews to the same hysterics.

    18. As a critic, Lane isn't the most reliable: one gets the sense that he's often more interested in writing an entertaining essay than in seriously reviewing the film in question, but that, of course, is why he's such an entertaining essayist. Sharp-tongued and perfectly droll, Lane extravagantly lacerates those works he looks down on, and when he is impressed, he demonstrates that he's actually capable of great insights.

    19. There are two people's film reviews who I love and consult and trust (so far -- I'm not a snob about movies by any means). One is Roger Ebert and the other is Anthony Lane. They're both very witty and intelligent writers, and more often than not, their reviews are actually essays. Especially with Lane. He's sharp and has a really good context for anything connected to any movie he's writing about. To me that's what sends it over the top.

    20. Lane writes like a love child of Pauline Kael and P.G. Wodehouse, passionate & insightful about movies and very funny, with some Woosterlike turns of phrase that bring tears to my eyes. These are mostly collected New Yorker film reviews from the 1990s and early 2000s, but they hold up well, especially the droll putdowns of pretentious turkeys.

    21. If you enjoy the New Yorker's film review section, then definitely check out this book. My favorite aspect of this book is that it is not just a collection of reviews of films he actually enjoyed. Instead, it's a collection of his best writing on film. The review of "Indecent Proposal" alone is worth the cost of the book.

    22. it was ok, most of what he critiqued i havent seen. so i can neither agree or disagreee with the majority of the book. for the movies i did see, i thought his views were ok. everyone has their own oppinions on things, i critique things more generally, and he is more detailed than i am so i can learn from what he said.

    23. I love Anthony Lane's work in the New Yorker. This book is just a continuation of that body of excellence. Lane demonstrates a great feeling for the history of film. He's a reviewer who can use his cutting tongue to praise a film as well as strafe it.What comes through in this book is the feeling that he likes going to the movies. A critic who likes his milieu. What are the odds of that?

    24. Anthony Lane is a critic of the first order. There may be no better contemporary critic when it comes to undressing sub-par fare, and here in this collection there are more than a few movies deserving of heat. The book should be required reading for anyone interested in writing about movies, or being a critic in any other sense.

    25. Like a box of rich dark truffles, I can only take this book in little pieces or I get sick. He is good at what he does, which is to chide various movies for being inane. But really, how much can you deal with it before you have to put it down?I suspect his weekly column would be brilliant as you get to step away and enjoy life for 7 days before his next film stabbing.

    26. "What is the point of Demi Moore?" I <3 Anthony Lane. Other than the question of Demi Moore, the review of Halloween H20 is the best piece so far, mostly because it steps into "personal essay" territory and is really quite moving. I picked this up at a stoop sale and haven't finished it yet but am psyched to read the rest, especially the profiles at the end (Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, et al.)

    27. I have such a crush on Anthony Lane. I'll be reading and rereading these superb essays when I no longer remember the films themselves. (Plus, the hardcover edition includes an image of Buster Keaton on the cover.)

    28. [summer 2008] even when i don't agree w/ lane's film assessments (of which this book is primarily comprised), i almost always love his writing. frequently makes me look at a film from an angle i hadn't considered.

    29. My buddy Alen introduced me to Anthony Lane, who was one of my favorite movie reviewers in The New Yorker. Not that I read the New Yorker often, but when I do I always look to see if there's a review by this guy.

    30. Anthony Lane is one of the wittiest, sharpest writers around. This compilation of mostly movie reviews from the New Yorker is a treasure, and you don't need to have seen the movie to appreciate his wit.

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