Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Funny Girl

Dr. Bob Prescribes Funny Girl

Funny Girl, Barbra Streisand, and the Critics The famed Pauline Kael spent much of her review of Funny Girl in The New Yorker identifying what she called the film’s “weaknesses.” Roger Ebert, writing in Chicago Sun-Times on October 18, 1968, thought that: “The film is perhaps the ultimate example of the roadshow musical gone overboard. It is over-produced, over-photographed and over-long. The second half drags badly. The supporting characters are generally wooden.” According to Richard L. Coe, writing in The Washington Post, Funny Girl was: “Overdone . . . a long, trippy bore.” Renata Adler, writing in Barbra Streisand’s hometown newspaper The New York Times on September 28, 1968, found the movie “condescending and patronizing,” the critical meaning of which we can only guess. Despite all of this critical negativity, Funny Girl was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture (which it did not win; the best picture Oscar that year went to the musical Oliver!, which had been nominated for an astounding nineteen Oscars). Of its eight nominations, Funny Girl garnered but one Oscar, for Barbra Streisand as Best Actress. In fact, it was Streisand’s performance that carried the movie, a fact impossible to ignore whatever was the […]

Continue Reading