• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 22, 2010
  • Season #: 1
Public Speaking Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Martin Scorsese directs this HBO documentary that follows New York writer Fran Lebowitz as she talks about her life and the world we live in today.
  • Genre(s): Documentary
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Dec 9, 2010
    100
    The Lebowitz film, Public Speaking, directed by Martin Scorsese and produced by Graydon Carter--combines hilarious, contemporary interviews with Lebowitz about life in NYC, mixed with old clips of her in the Andy Warhol days, and great clips of her appearances on old talk shows.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Dec 9, 2010
    100
    She's a smart, funny, eccentric elitist who isn't afraid to tell us what she thinks of us or herself. Listen with an open mind, and you should find her sometimes scathing honesty is bracing rather than off-putting.
  3. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Dec 9, 2010
    80
    Public Speaking perfectly captures the pleasure she takes in observing the world while subtly revealing the crippling dimensions of perfectionism, the outsize ego it requires to achieve a certain kind of creative failure.
  4. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Dec 9, 2010
    75
    This may not be Martin Scorsese's most sophisticated film, but it actually takes a smart filmmaker to understand that, with a subject like Fran Lebowitz, the best thing you can do is let her talk.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Dec 9, 2010
    60
    Without any framing background information, this affectionate documentary and its continual monologues can feel a little too insidery and indulgent.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Dec 9, 2010
    60
    Given the number of dunderheaded pundits holding forth nightly, Lebowitz does feel like a throwback to a wittier era. That said, Scorsese could have gotten his point across in a third less time--as Public Speaking demonstrates, twice over, how even ballsy Manhattan artist types can benefit from an editor's touch.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Dec 9, 2010
    60
    She seems distant and a little wary, like someone who has carefully built a comfortable life and sees no reason to invite a lot of strangers in. Her relationship with us is what she sees and shares. In the end, that seems fair enough.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 10, 2010
    9
    Great, great movie. I was in a Documentary mood, so i was looking through my HBO and saw this, and i didn't know who Miss Lebowitz was, so i said why not. I found myself glued to the screen through the whole movie. such a intelligent, clever. lady. very charming movie. Expand
  2. Dec 17, 2010
    6
    When I ran across Public Speaking, the burning question of whatever happened to Fran Lebowitz was answered. She turned into a talking head. Granted, she's a witty head, an infuriating head, an exasperating head, but nevertheless a talking head. I found her amusing, insightful, and someone yearning so much for the past it was painful. The movie is worth watching simply because it's thought provoking. As to Ms. Lebowitz's writer's block - why doesn't she just wear a tape recorder around her neck - oh, wait, she is so rabidly anti-tech that might kill her. Expand