Anthony Lane

Anthony Lane (born 1962) is a British journalist, currently a film critic for The New Yorker magazine.

Personal life

Lane lives in Cambridge with Allison Pearson, a British writer and former Daily Mail columnist.[1] They have a daughter, Eveline (born January 1996), and a son, Thomas (born August 1999).

Education and early career

Lane attended Sherborne School and graduated with a degree in English from Trinity College, Cambridge, where he also did graduate work on the poet T. S. Eliot. After graduation, he worked as a freelance writer and book reviewer for The Independent, where he was appointed deputy literary editor in 1989. In 1991, Lane was appointed film critic for the Independent on Sunday.[2]

At The New Yorker

In 1993, Lane was asked by The New Yorker's then-editor, Tina Brown, to join the magazine as a film critic. Lane currently shares the role with David Denby. He also contributes longer pieces on film subjects — such as Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton and Grace Kelly — as well as other aspects of literature (Ian Fleming and Patrick Leigh Fermor) and the arts (The Adventures of Tintin).

A collection of 140 of his The New Yorker reviews, essays, and profiles was published in 2002 under the title Nobody's Perfect — a nod to the final line of the film Some Like it Hot. A profile of the film's director, Billy Wilder, ends the book.

Lane's maxims

In his introduction to Nobody's Perfect: Writings from The New Yorker, Lane mentions five maxims that "should be obeyed by anyone who, having tried and failed to gain respectable employment, has decided to throw in the sponge and become a movie critic instead":

1) Never read the publicity material.
2) Whenever possible, see a film in the company of ordinary human beings.
3) Try to keep up with documentaries about Swabian transsexuals {or, see everything regardless of budget and hype}.
4) Whenever possible, pass sentence on a movie the day after it comes out. Otherwise, wait fifty years.
5) Try to avoid the Lane technique of summer moviegoing.

The explanation for the 5th maxim is a good example of Lane's style:

On a broiling day, I ran to a screening of Contact, the Jodie Foster flick about messages from another galaxy. I made it for the opening credits, and, panting heavily – which, with all due respect, is not something that I find myself doing that often in Jodie Foster films – I started taking notes. These went "v. gloomy", "odd noir look for sci-fi", "creepy shadows in outdoor scene", and so on. Only after three-quarters of an hour did I remember to remove my dark glasses.

Professional recognition

Anthony Lane was awarded the 2001 National Magazine Award for Reviews & Criticism, for three of his New Yorker articles:

Lane has also been nominated for National Magazine Awards on a number of other occasions, including

In 2008, Lane was named one of the top 30 critics in the world by More Intelligent Life, the web version of the lifestyle publication from The Economist.[3] As of 2010, the movie review aggregation website Metacritic weighted Lane's movie reviews higher than any other critic's.[4]



  1. Cohu, Will (14 December 2003). "A writer's life: Anthony Lane". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  2. "Contributors: Anthony Lane". The New Yorker. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  3. Our Guide to the Best Critics: Film – Candour and Donnish Intellect Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 10 March 2008, More Intelligent Life, part of Our Guide to the Best Critics: An Introduction – Reviewers Revered Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 5 March 2008
  4. "META-METACRITIC". Retrieved 2015-07-29.

External links

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