[W]ry, wonderful… That Talbot is a writer gifted enough to evoke not just images but their attendant music through her words will come as no surprise to anyone who’s read her in The New Yorker or elsewhere. One of the things The Entertainer makes abundantly clear, though, is that she comes by her aesthetic sense naturally…. Talbot has woven a tale as romantic and vivid as any film could hope to be, while still seeing every bit of it plain. She is as clear-eyed about her father as she is about history—no easy feat…. [Lyle] never had even a starring role as dazzling as the one his youngest child, with history as her guide, has now written for him.