THE MEDDLER, SWORN VIRGIN, ELVIS & NIXON, QUEEN MIMI and More April 22 Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

meddler poster artThe Meddler is a satisfying serving of giddily compassionate mother-daughter comedy. Sworn Virgin is about a woman escaping social repression. Elvis & Nixon dramatizes the impromptu meeting between the two famous men. Queen Mimi documents the life of an elderly woman who lives in a Santa Monica laundromat. Plus The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Tale of Tales, Hockney and Nina. Read the reviews…

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A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING — Review by Susan Granger

Divorced, broke and unable to pay his daughter’s college tuition, Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) is introduced in an angst-filled, fantasy dream sequence, singing Talking Head’s “Once in a Lifetime.” Apparently chosen for this job because of some vague connection to the Royal family, Clay is an affable, middle-aged American businessman who arrives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, determined to sell a 3D holographic communications system to King Abdullah. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Amy Schumer Talks Body Image, Glamour Mag and People Pleasing — Brandy McDonnell Interviews

amy-schumer-2013-smallIn between uproariously raunchy jokes about feminine hygiene, sexual preferences and shady massage parlors, Amy Schumer delivers pointed messages about body image, extreme dieting and double standards for men and women, hot-button issues she also covers in her TV show and movies. “I think with the women we’re exposed to so constantly in media – movies, magazines, TV – they’re so thin. And they look beautiful, and most of them are healthy and good. I also know that the majority of them are hungry,” Schumer told me in a phone interview. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

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ELVIS & NIXON — Review by Susan Granger

Chronicling an amusing historical anecdote, Liza Johnson’s droll reminiscence shows how Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon) met President Richard M. Nixon (Kevin Spacey) in the Oval Office one afternoon. In late 1970, watching the news at Graceland, Presley becomes so infuriated with the growing drug problem and moral decline in the United States that he shoots out the TV set with a .45. That’s his first reaction. Read on…

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THE SYNDROME – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

syndromeposter We’re all familiar with “shaken baby syndrome” from fictional crime dramas and the 1997 Boston trial of nanny Louise Woodward, convicted of killing an infant in her care by, allegedly, shaking him so hard it caused severe brain injury. But does SBS even exist as a scientifically valid phenomenon? Or is it hysteria built on junk science? Award-winning journalist Susan Goldsmith, who has specialized in covering child abuse and larger societal issues surrounding the treatment of children, teams up with first-time filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith for a film that may lack the slickness we’ve come to expect from modern newsy documentaries but makes up for that with its smartly dispassionate and skeptical look at SBS. Read more>>

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Hypersexualized Men, Tessa Thompson Joins Marvel Pantheon, SAG-AFTRA Picks Gabrielle Carteris — Brandy McDonnell Reports

megan-fox-transformers1New research indicates that men are expected to show more skin in movies – but they still get to not take it off more often than their female counterparts. Plus Marvel finds a new superhero in Tessa Thompson and congrats to SAG-AFTRA’s newly elected female president Read the details in THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

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EDA Awards @ DOXA 2016: Nominated Films and Jurors — Jennifer Merin reports

doxa logo 1The DOXA Film Festival (held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from May 5 to 15, 2016) has announced the nomination of ten feature length documentaries and nine documentary shorts to be considered for the AWFJ EDA Awards @ DOXA. The award winners will be selected by two AWFJ jury panels, and will be presented at the festival’s gala awards ceremony on Saturday,May 14. Read on for the complete lists of nominated films and the names of the AWFJ EDA Awards @ DOXA jurors.

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COLONIA, HOSTILE BORDER, THE SYNDROME, Six Female-Directed Features and More Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

colonia posterIn the feast-or-famine world of women and movies, this week is a rich one, with both narratives and documentaries illuminating big screens. Look for Emma Watson in Colonia, Hostile Border‘s treatment of a woman caught in illegal alien syndrome, The Syndrome‘s revelations about shaken babies, plus Diana Angelson’s Armenia My Love, Amanda Marsalis’ Echo Park, Kate Chaplin’s Wig’d Out, Jenn Page’s The Breakout: A Rock Opera, Michelle Danner’s The Bandit Hound, Pamela Romanowsky’s The Adderall Diaries, and the Anna Wintour-driven The First Monday in May and Disney’s 3D The Jungle Book. Read the reviews…

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BAD RAP — Tribeca Film Festival Review by Candice Frederick

The film’s title says it all: BAD RAP. Sure, it’s a play on words, but it also highlights a type of music that has long been considered the source of racial, political and social aggravation. Which makes it ripe for exploration in the documentary that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2016. But filmmaker Salima Koroma doesn’t focus on the negative sociopolitical issues persistently discussed in the media (misogyny, cultural appropriation, sexism, etc). Rather, she opens up the conversation to the far less discussed marginalization of Asian-American rappers in an industry dominated by African-American men. Read more>>

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THE BOSS — Review by Susan Granger

You can see Melissa McCarthy’s best bits from this wannabe comedy in the trailer. As brash Michelle Darnell, she’s a self-made financial guru – “the 47th wealthiest woman in America” – who gets arrested and convicted for insider trading. When she’s released from prison, she’s so broke that she’s forced to bunk in with her former assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell). Read on…

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