Robert Gottlieb


Robert Gottlieb has been Editor in Chief of Simon and ­Schuster, Knopf, and The New Yorker. His most recent book is Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens.
 (October 2014)

  • Tame Jane

    March 26, 2011

    The new film version of Jane Eyre isn't all bad, but it's all wrong. The story, despite a confusing flashback structure, is coherent. The dialogue is satisfying. The look is convincing. What's lacking is Jane Eyre itself--Charlotte Brontë’s feverish inner world of anguish and fury.

  • Monstres Sacrés in Love

    August 3, 2010

    All bio-pix are by definition ridiculous since their subjects have to be manifestly unique people--why else would the movie be made?--while what makes them unique is exactly what's so impossible to convey. (Creativity is invisible, hence unfilmable.)

  • My President

    January 15, 2010

    I was jolted the other day when The New York Times science section splashed three big close-up head-shots of FDR across the top of its front page. (The story: his death of a cerebral hemorrhage may have been linked to a melanoma.) Suddenly, unexpectedly, there was the face of my president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932, at the height of the Depression, more or less a year after I was born, and by the time I became conscious of the great world out there, he had become the family hero: as resourceful as he was wise, as charming as he was brilliant. Everyone we knew loved his handsome, distinguished face, was moved by his beautiful voice—the famous fireside chats!—and, most important of all in those frightening times, took comfort from the confidence he radiated. We knew instinctively that with him leading us, all would be well.

  • Paris Ballet Follies

    November 3, 2009

    Your take on Frederick Wiseman’s La Danse: The Paris Opera Balleta two-and-a-half hour documentary opening on November 4th at New York’s Film Forum—will depend on your feelings about ballet, about Wiseman, and about the Paris Opera Ballet itself.