Sandie Angulo Chen

Sandie Angulo Chen is a feature writer, film critic, and book reviewer. She’s written about movies and pop culture since high school, contributing to outlets like Common Sense Media, The Washington Post, EW, Moviefone, and Variety. She lives outside Washington D.C. with her husband and their three young cinephiles.

 

Articles by Sandie Angulo Chen

 

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — Review by Sandie Angulo Chen

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is part of the billion-dollar Star Wars saga, continuing the segment of the story that began in The Force Awakens. It takes place right after the events of that movie and is just as violent, with several battles, explosions, space chases, and close-up duels. Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie boasts several strong female characters, including both Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Leia (Carrie Fisher, in her final Star Wars performance), as well as diversity within the Resistance and strong messages of courage, teamwork, hope, and loyalty. Continue reading…

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Jacob Tremblay on Preparing for WONDER — Interview by Sandie Angulo Chen

Child actor Jacob Tremblay hadn’t read “Wonder” when he got a call about playing the lead role in the movie based on the 2012 middle-grade bestseller. But after he got to know the character — Auggie Pullman, a 10-year-old whose face looks different from that of most kids — Jacob didn’t need convincing. “The thing that mostly drew me to wanting to do the part of Auggie is the message. I thought it was very important,” the 11-year-old actor says. Continue reading…

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THE BREADWINNER — Review by Sandie Angulo Chen

The Breadwinner is a beautifully animated drama from the co-director of The Secret of Kells that’s set in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Based on the young adult novel by Deborah Ellis, it centers on an 11-year-old girl who’s forced to pretend she’s a boy after her father is imprisoned. The movie heartbreakingly captures the violent, anti-women, anti-intellectual, and even anti-literacy stance of the Taliban regime. Women are harassed and beaten for not covering themselves properly, being in public without a husband/father, and drawing attention to themselves. Taliban soldiers and followers intimidate and threaten characters and keep one imprisoned. A few mild insults pepper the dialogue (“crazy,” “stupid,” “enemy of Islam,” etc.), but it’s the realistic violence that’s most likely to upset younger viewers. There’s also a story-within-the-story in which skeleton ghosts, attacking jaguars, and an evil elephant king figure prominently, but it’s not as frightening as the mistreatment of people (particularly girls and women) under Taliban rule. And, ultimately, themes of perseverance, curiosity, and courage prevail. Continue reading…

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