Mick LaSalle

Mick LaSalle

in The United States
May 07, 1959


Mick LaSalle is an American film critic and the author of two books on pre-code Hollywood. As of March 2008[update], he has written in excess of 1550 reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle,[1] and he has been podcasting them since September 2005.[2]

LaSalle is the author of Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood, a history/critical study of the actresses who worked in the film industry between 1929-1934. It was published by Thomas Dunne Books in 2000. In his review in The New York Times, Andy Webster called it "an overdue examination of a historic conflict between Hollywood and would-be monitors of morality" and added LaSalle "has an avuncular but informative style, and makes his points with a relaxed economy."[3]

The book se

Mick LaSalle isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but he does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from his feed.
Hey, you guys who suggested THE BIG LEBOWSKI for the top post-1960 comedies a few weeks ago . . . ? Well, you were right.
I think I didn't even bother to see this in 1998: Someone else reviewed it, and most of the reviews were lukewarm to bad. I don't know what critics were seeing - perhaps they expected FARGO, or something - but this is a brilliant, very funny film, inhabiting a comic...

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Published on February 03, 2012 10:48 • 157 views
Average rating: 4.03 · 994 ratings · 89 reviews · 5 distinct works · Similar authors
Complicated Women: Sex and ...

3.99 avg rating — 836 ratings — published 2000 — 4 editions
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Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hol...

4.19 avg rating — 123 ratings — published 2002 — 3 editions
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The Beauty of the Real: Wha...

4.17 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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Ann Harding - Cinema's Gall...

4.36 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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Joan Crawford: The Enduring...

4.50 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2009 — 2 editions
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“In 2003, Meryl Streep won a career achievement César Award, the French equivalent of an Oscar. Streep’s words (my translation) acknowledged the enduring interest of French audiences in women’s lives and women’s stories:
"I have always wanted to present stories of women who are rather difficult. Difficult to love, difficult to understand, difficult to look at sometimes. I am very cognizant that the French public is receptive to these complex and contradictory women. As an actress I have understood for a long time that lies are simple, seductive and often easy to pass off. But the truth—the truth is always very very very complicated, often unpleasant, nuanced or difficult to accept."

In France, an actress can work steadily from her teens through old age—she can start out in stories of youthful rebellion and end up, fifty years later, a screen matriarch. And in the process, her career will end up telling the story of a life—her own life, in a sense, with the films serving, as Valeria Bruni Tedeschi puts it, as a “journal intime,” or diary, of one woman’s emotions and growth. No wonder so many French actresses are beautiful. They’re radiant with living in a cinematic culture that values them, and values them as women. And they are radiant with living in a culture—albeit one with flaws of its own—in which women are half of who decides what gets valued in the first place. Their films transcend national and language barriers and are the best vehicles for conveying the depth and range of women’s experience in our era. The gift they give us, so absent in our own movies, is a vision of life that values emotional truth, personal freedom and dignity above all and that favors complexity over simplicity, the human over the machine, maturity over callowness, true mysteries over false explanations and an awareness of mortality over a life lived in denial.

In the luminous humanity of their faces and in the illuminated humanity of their characters, we discover in these actresses something much more inspiring than the blank perfection and perfect blankness of the Hollywood starlet. We discover the beauty of the real.”
Mick LaSalle, The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses

“No longer stereotypes, these screen women had become complicated. This combination of sensuality, independence and playfulness, made them fascinating to watch and completely modern.”
Mick LaSalle, Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood

“It’s not uncommon for distinguished French actresses to make their first films while still in their teens. Isabelle Adjani, Isabelle Carré, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marie Gillain, Sophie Marceau, and Ludivine Sagnier—you’ll hear more about them later—all made an impression before their twentieth birthday. That teenage actresses can regularly, naturally and seamlessly move into adult roles is illustrative of French cinema’s way of seeing a woman’s life as all of a piece, as one smooth flow from childhood to youth to maturity to old age.”
Mick LaSalle, The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses

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