2014 AWFJ EDA Awards Categories

For 2014′s year end awards, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists will present AWFJ EDA Awards in 25 categories, reducing the list from the 31 categories in 2013. Categories for elimination were selected by polling AWFJ members. AWFJ recognizes the contributions and concerns of women in film with the Female Focus and EDA Special Mention categories. Nominations will be announced on December 29, 2014. The winners will be announced on January 12, 2015. For the list of categories, read on…

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WILD – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Cheryl Strayed was a mess. She was in the midst of divorcing her husband; she’d ruined their marriage with her constant random screwing around with strangers. She was using heroin. She was lost. So, in the summer of 1995, she figured maybe she might be able to find herself by hiking a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Which she did. And then she wrote a book about her transformative experience. And now it’s a movie. Read more>>

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ELECTRICITY – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Lily has epilepsy. But Electricity is as far from a film about disease or disability as you can imagine. Instead, for 30ish Lily, it’s just one more challenge in a life that has had more than its share of them. Childhood abuse that may have caused her condition is hinted at, which may also explain why her family is shattered and scattered. And yet Lily retains a resolute, almost steely kindness and optimism; Agyness Deyn effortlessly imbues her with a strange and lovely quality that somehow combines likability with aloofness: you want to hug her, but you refrain because you know she probably wouldn’t want it. Read more>>

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INHERENT VICE – Review by Susan Granger

You don’t have to be stoned to watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s laconic adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s pulpy crime mystery, but I suspect it would ease the tedium. Read on…

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Women Rule Whistler Film Festival – Literally! – Katherine Brodsky reports

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The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) was founded some 14 years ago by Shauna Hardy Mishaw, its current executive director. Over time, WFF emerged as a significant player within the Canadian film fest circuit. Known for its intimate, casual environment, WFF is a major draw for filmmakers and industry leaders alike (this year, industry attendance doubled!).

Mishaw’s loyal and tireless admin team consists largely of women, most of whom have been with the festival for many years, supporting WFF through its ups and downs and setting the stage for film-centric hospitality for which WFF is known. filmmakers and industry honchos mingle, and deals are made not only through scheduled one-on-one meetings, but also in the hot tub or on the ski slopes. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Dec. 8-14: INHERENT VICE

Opening Dec. 12, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Inherent Vice, the latest work from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master). An adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel – Anderson being a self-confessed mega fan of the author – the film reunites Anderson with his Master star Joaquin Phoenix, who here takes the lead role of cop Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello. Working in LA in 1970, Sportello is fuelled – like most of the city – by a heady mix of drink and drugs, and finds himself rather over his head while investigating the disappearance of ex-girlfriend Shasta (ethereal newcomer Karen Waterston). Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Dec. 1-7: WILD

Opening Dec. 3, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is WildJean-Marc Vallee’s follow-up to 2013′s Dallas Buyers Club, which won stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively (and was also nominated for Best Picture). Expect similar accolades for Reese Witherspoon, as critics are calling her lead performance one of the best of her career. She takes the role of real-life hiker Cheryl Strayed, who embarked on an 1,100 mile solo trek along the challenging Pacific Crest Trail in a bid to overcome the untimely death of her mother. It’s a raw and honest turn from Witherspoon, who also produced the film, showcasing both her natural talent and impressive dramatic range. Read on…

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TOP FIVE – Review by Susan Granger

top five poster160Chris Rock offers a glimpse of life in the celebrity bubble, playing comedian-turned-actor Andre Allen, who agrees to a day-long interview with a New York Times journalist, Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson). Stand-up comic Allen found fame and fortune starring in a trilogy of dumb “Hammy the Bear” movies in which he played the ursine partner of a human policeman. A recovering alcoholic trying to stay sober, he’s embarked on two mid-life endeavors. Determined to be recognized as a serious artist, he’s opening a serious, historical drama “Uprize!” about a 1791 Haitian slave rebellion (which the Times has already panned) and he’s also celebrating his upcoming wedding to beautiful Erica Long (Gabrielle Union), a shallow reality-TV star. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Nov. 24-30: THE IMITATION GAME

Opening Nov. 14, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Imitation Game, the compelling real-life story of mathematical genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who, along with a crack team of numerologists, broke the Nazi’s fiendish Enigma code during World War II. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Nov. 17-23: A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT

Opening Nov. 14, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the impressive feature debut of short filmmaker Anna Lily Armipour. It stars Sheila Vand as an enigmatic, hijab wearing vampire who, while stalking the mean streets of desolate Iranian town Bad City, makes a connection with fellow lost soul Arash (Arash Marandi) a young man who dreams of escaping the harsh confines of his life. Read on…

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