(p. 20) . . . , LaPorte combines tabloid celebrity worship with an older oddity: the incongruous fact that a free market also produces resentment, especially when a competitor like Spielberg demonstrates leadership, superior achievement and undeniable success. He’s one of the few filmmakers still committed to exploring the human condition — and in popular terms. This is what sets him apart and makes him admired, envied and even inscrutable to those who think only in craven terms of business and royalty.
. . .
So it’s a tabloid book. We can only hope it doesn’t become the historical record. LaPorte undermines her research with a headachy repetition of anonymous informants (“one insider,” “one former executive,” “one source”). She concludes that “inherent in all of it was hubris.” But a story this significant, about world-changing movies, doesn’t need homilies. It needs a detailed, impassioned and insightful telling, one that would help us better appreciate a frequently misunderstood, underinterpreted pop artist whose work connects with the public, defines the complexities of human experience and dwarfs most of contemporary Hollywood’s output. DreamWorks calls for a sensitive sociologist — a Tom Wolfe or a Norman Mailer or a Pauline Kael — who can discern the deep, divided heart of Hollywood.
For the full review, see:
ARMOND WHITE. “The Big Picture.” The New York Times Book Review (Sun., July 11, 2010): 20.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the review is dated July 9, 2010.)
The book White credibly pans is:
LaPorte, Nicole. The Men Who Would Be King; an Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called Dreamworks. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.