David Poland writes 6/26/02 on www.thehotbutton.com: "With all due respect to Gary Winick for getting this [Tadpole] made, he has a shot at a career as a TV director. Unless someone gets behind him or he hits a lucky shot out of the park with the hottest new star that happens in his next movie (Aaron Stanford is a quieter, less good looking Paul Walker), he’s not going to make it in features. He has no visual style. He has no great insight as a filmmaker. He gets away with limited skills because he shoots digitally and even then, he doesn’t have the good sense to know the limitations of his digital equipment and is constantly caught doing things that flare, flash and smear."

On 8/15/02, I ate lunch with David Poland who blamed Gary's mother for his demise as director of the Miami Film Festival. Poland said: "This woman who was in charge of our piggy bank [Pauline Winick, a VP of marketing for the university, mother of Los Angeles film producer Gary Winick] would not return our phone calls or show up in the office. Rene was Mr. Outside and she was Mrs. Inside. Between them, I didn't have a chance.

"I'm sure Gary Winick is a nice guy but his mother, Pauline, lost her mind. She hired me. Why, after a month I was hired, she decided to kill me, I don't know. I think it was because I brought someone else in to replace her. She then resented that she wouldn't have the authority she once had. She had some medical problems. She freaked out. And she wasn't exactly a stable person to begin with. I thought I could handle it and I was wrong. It just got out of control."