A Film Critic Used His Review To Talk About Her Looks. So This Actress Wrote A Letter.

“Perhaps tighter jeans so my ass would get some more screen time?"

The New Yorker's Anthony Lane may have reviewed her film Gemini in a positive light, but when he wrote at length about what she looked like in it, Lola Kirke decided to speak up.


The review did address the Aaron Katz-directed movie — which also stars Zoë Kravitz and John Cho — and even praised Kirke's performance. That, though, was before he added essentially an entire paragraph solely about Kirke's character's appearance.

Lane wrote: "The role is hardly flattering; most of the time, she wears big jeans and a baggy gray top, while sporting the haircut from hell — brown bangs cut straight across, as if by a six-year-old with blunt scissors. At one point, in need of camouflage, she dyes the tresses blond but keeps the style."

In response, Kirke wrote a letter to the editor and took to Instagram, and begged the question of what the critic would have preferred seeing her wear. In addition, she addressed just how important it is in terms of how we, and the media in general, talk about women. 

"Perhaps tighter jeans so my ass would get some more screen time? Maybe a push up bra paired with a low cut blouse would have secured my place in the canon of heroines who succeeded against all odds without letting you forget both their youth and fertility?" Kirke wrote. "As for the hair, it seems the cut exceeds the designated dose of quirk we accept from women on screen."

Kirke pointed out that the costume "was no oversight, it was intentional." The end goal was not to make her "appear unsightly," she added, but "it was to show you that a woman is powerful and beautiful in the big jeans and baggy gray tops you so abhor."

Besides what Lane's words would have made her feel, Kirke noted that publications such as The New Yorker passes along thoughts and ideas to its readers, even if just a small degree, because "media is king." By passing on this interpretation of Kirke's Gemini character, she believed it was "a great detriment to our society" that they push "outdated standards of beauty."

While she doesn't take opinions like this to heart, Kirke concluded by explaining her disappointment over this "glib commentary" that was published "in this heated moment of vibrant discussion surrounding women's bodies," and that "liberal journalism needs to be adding an entirely different voice to this conversation."

Perhaps it's reviews like this that make the need for more female voices in cinema criticism

(H/T: Vulture | Indiewire)

Cover image: Neon


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