Tagged by Roger Ebert as the most influential film critic of the late twentieth century, the film tells the story of Pauline’s turbulent life and work, through never-seen archival footage, her published writing and personal letters, and interviews with both friends and foes of her pen. Pauline is voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker, and participants include Quentin Tarantino, Camille Paglia, David O. Russell, Molly Haskell, Francis Ford Coppola, and daughter Gina James.  

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was likely the most powerful, and personal, movie critic of the 20th century. Writing for The New Yorker and publishing a dozen best-selling books, she ruthlessly pursued what made a movie or an actor’s performance work, or not, and why. Her passion made her both admired and despised amongst her readers and her subjects. Pauline’s own story is one of struggle and obsession: the fight to establish her voice and have it heard, and to raise a daughter on her own in a time when the obstacles were high. The latter golden age of movies of the 1960s and 1970s are the focus of this film that pursues the question of what made Pauline Kael’s work so individual, so controversial — and so damned good.  

For festival or booking inquiries, please contact elizabeth@junofilms.com.


DIRECTED & EDITED by Rob Garver

PAULINE’S VOICEOVER PERFORMED by  Sarah Jessica Parker

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Bobby Campbell

PRODUCERS: Rob Garver, Glen Zipper

CO-PRODUCER & SUPERVISING EDITOR: Douglas Blush, A.C.E. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Vincent C. Ellis

ARCHIVAL PRODUCER: Rich Remsberg

ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSED by Rick Baitz

MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Jackie Mulhearn

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Melanie Vi Levy

Language: English

Duration: 95 min

Country: USA

Year: 2019