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Anthony Lane is a British journalist, and a film critic for The New Yorker magazine.

Anthony Lane
England, United Kingdom
EducationTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationJournalist, film critic
Partner(s)Allison Pearson


Education and early careerEdit

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 The Independent on Sunday.[1]

The New YorkerEdit

In 1993, Lane was asked by The New Yorker's then-editor, Tina Brown, to join the magazine as a film critic. He also contributes longer pieces on film subjects — such as Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton and Grace Kelly — and 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 reference 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 maximsEdit

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 recognitionEdit

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

  • 1996 award for Special Interest, for the article Look Back in Hunger (18 December), a humorous piece about cookbooks
  • 2000 award for Reviews & Criticism, for the articles

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.[2] As of 2010, the movie review aggregation website Metacritic weighted Lane's movie reviews higher than any other critic's.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Lane lives in Cambridge, England with Allison Pearson, a British writer and columnist.[4] The couple have never married but have a daughter, Eveline (born January 1996), and a son, Thomas (born August 1999).



  1. ^ "Contributors: Anthony Lane". The New Yorker. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ "META-METACRITIC". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  4. ^ Cohu, Will (14 December 2003). "A writer's life: Anthony Lane". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2011.

External linksEdit