Alison Willmore - Film Critic - New York magazine/Vulture


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Zooming with Chloé Zhao - what could better typify the pandemic era? Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) takes us inside how she did her recent cover story for New York magazine about Zhao. We also hear about what it’s like to be a critic - from panning the remake of Mulan to championing foreign movies that get much less attention in the United States

Countries featured: USA, UK

Publications featured: IFC, IndieWire, BuzzFeed News, New York magazine, Vulture

Alison discusses growing up in the Bay Area with a Singaporean-Chinese mom and British dad (8:22), using Craigslist to get her first apartment and first job at IFC in New York (16:02), getting hired by IndieWire to launch a TV vertical (21:48), Apple Watches and cold hard cash at BuzzFeed News (24:50), the art of the bad movie review (32:48), Bacurau and foreign films (38:15), how being a critic changed how she views movies for pleasure (44:43), a dream assignment involving Martin Scorcese that came at the wrong time (49:10), reporting her profile of Chloé Zhao (51:39) and finally the lightning round (1:01:33).

Here are links to some of the things we talked about:

Alison’s review of Nobody -

Her essay on Asian American character actors -

Her interview with Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow -

Her review of Mulan -

Her top 10 movies of 2020 -

Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation -

Alison’s cover story on Chloé Zhao -

Nick Pinkerton’s Substack -

Ryan Broderick’s Garbage Day newsletter -

NYT story on anti-Asian hate crimes -

The Black Tapes podcast -

The collection that includes Justin M. Damiano -

Follow us on Twitter @foreignpod or on Facebook at

Music: LoveChances ( by Makaih Beats



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