Turn Every Page Review - Entertaining Double Portrait of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb

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Turn Every Page, from Sony Pictures Classics, present a decades-in-the-making epic as two of publishing's esteemed statesmen, Robert Caro, and Robert Gottlieb, discuss their work, lives, loves and the relationship between writer and editor.

The documentary begins with a caveat from the film's producer director, Lizzie Gottlieb, explaining for some time she had been trying to convince her father, Robert Gottlieb, the subject of the film to agree to participate and for years he resisted. Now, a nonagenarian, at 91, he agreed.

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Turn Every Page is more than a homage to the superstar publishing elite; it presents the importance of recording the days, times, seasons, and events that paint a mosaic, in words, of distant places, lives we never knew, those we revered or even despised. The mosaic, history's imprint, is needed and necessary.

Throughout the documentary we begin to see the layers pulled back on lives of these two publishing greats. A cursory first glance, like an impression, imprints a belief, when in fact the path which each of these two traveled was challenging, difficult, and determined.

The books of Robert Caro, who we understand from the introduction, have taken on an almost cult following during the pandemic, with his first book, "The Power Broker: Robert Moses and The Fall of New York," appearing on the bookshelves of pundits, experts, and analysts, and Robert Gottlieb, his longtime editor, began nearly fifty years ago.

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We travel with the two as they walk through their own lives. Gottlieb unashamedly tells the world of his years in Freudian psychoanalysis, and his determination not to become the angry man his father was, and Caro, who through his wife, Ina, explains his childhood was not to be envied, his mother died young, and his father honored her request to have him attend The Horace Mann school, which set him apart. We understand the few times he did bring friends home; it was embarrassing as his father was verbally abusive among other things.

For someone like Gottlieb, who we understand was a voracious reader, and no one read more than him, an employment recruiter explained, there was only one job, even with his Columbia University and Cambridge degrees, he could do, and he joined Simon & Schuster publishing. As he describes it in two days, he knew this was his life's work.

Caro, for a time, worked as an investigative reporter for the Long Island Newsday, and was slaving away at the typewriter, which he still uses. By the 1970s, Caro was five years into "The Power Broker," a story of the expansion of New York, the highways, byways, expressways, determining which neighborhoods and people were expendable in the creation of the modern New York and knew he needed an agent.

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After securing Lynn Nesbit, she understood he needed an editor and set up appointments with four potential suitors. After three dates with potentials who explained they could make him a celebrity, he met with Robert Gottlieb, who explained to him, the book would need edits, major edits to be published. The truth won out and the Caro-Gottlieb era was born.

Turn Every Page presents an entertaining and interesting look into the lives of each of these men, both passionate about their work, unapologetically honest about their pasts, and look to the future as one last collaboration between the two looms on the horizon.

With humor and insight, this unique double portrait reveals the work habits, peculiarities, and professional joys of these two ferocious intellects at the culmination of a journey that has consumed both their lives and impacted generations of politicians, activists, writers, and readers.

Turn Every Page opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles December 30, 2022. See it.

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Country: U.S.

Language: English.

Runtime: 112minutes.

Director: Lizzie Gottlieb.

Producer: Lizzie Gottlieb, Joanne Nerenberg, Jen Small,

Featured: Robert A. Caro, Robert Gottlieb, Bill Clinton, Conan O'Brien, Maria Tucci, Ina Caro, David Remnick, Ethan Hawke, Lynn Nesbit, Steven Johnson, Oliver Young, Kathy Hourigan, Mary Norris, Colm Toibin, Lisa Lucas, Majora Carter, Daniel Mendelsohn, Neal Norris, Hunter C. Smith, Jordan Pavlin, and others.

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