Lola Kirke expressed her displeasure with the New Yorker review of her film Gemini in a letter to the editor. Specifically, Kirke complained that reviewer Anthony Lane described her character in a sexist way, declaring the criticism "glib."
"I am disappointed by Anthony Lane's glib criticism of my character's appearance in the film Gemini," Kirke wrote in a letter that was published in the April 23 issue of the magazine. She added, "We need to see female characters be powerful and beautiful in ways that don't rely on outdated representations of women."
"Most of the time," Lane writes, "[Kirke] 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." The film, Kirke plays Jill, a Hollywood personal assistant who finds herself in the middle of a murder case after her boss (Zöe Kravitz) is seemingly murdered in her home. For much of the film, she wears wide culottes and a sweater. Her haircut, like Lane describes, features blunt bangs, which are something of a trend among heroines right now.
"I wonder what Anthony Lane would have considered a more 'flattering' get up for a female character. Perhaps tighter jeans so my ass would get some more screen time?" she mused in the accompanying caption.
Kirke's criticism comes at a time when reviews are increasingly under scrutiny for their treatment of women. The Time's Up movement — itself propelled by the exposé of film producer Harvey Weinstein — spurred a renewed interest in the male gaze, which frequents film criticism almost as much as it frequents film itself. Last month, a PhillyVoice review of the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider drew criticism for calling star Alicia Vikander's body too boyish for the film ("Toss in the lack of curves and Warner Bros. could have decided to gender bend and make a film titled 'Luke Croft,'" the writer eloquently suggests.) Similarly, reviews of festival darling Tully have been uniquely focused on Charlize Theron's weight in the film.
This also isn't the first time Lane has been criticized publicly for his work. In 2017, the actress Zoe Kazan screenshotted his review of the movie Personal Shopper, noting, "Anthony Lane, your misogyny is showing." Lane suggested in the review that Kristen Stewart's character should have been named Chloe or Kat.