Jenny Halper

Jenny Halper is the film editor of Spare Change News, a Cambridge bi-monthly dedicated to empowering the homeless. She's written for the Boston Phoenix, Boston Now,, amNewYork, Beliefnet, Cinema Confidential, Park Slope Reader, and Knit Simple Magazine, among others, and has served as a film critic/entertainment reporter for Track Entertainment and Her fiction has appeared in journals including Smokelong Quarterly and New England Fiction Meeting House, and has been a finalist for prizes from Glimmer Train and the Sonora Review. A graduate of Northwestern University, she is currently earning an MFA at Emerson College.


Articles by Jenny Halper


SPOTLIGHT May 2018: Jessica Thompson, Indie Filmmaker, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

jessica thompson head 1When filmmaker Jessica Thompson won the Audience Award at 2017’s SXSW for her engaging, gritty debut drama The Light of the Moon, she wasn’t exactly expecting it. “I didn’t think it was funny enough,” the Sydney native said of the film, a New York set story that doesn’t tread easy territory, following a talented architect named Bonnie (Stephanie Beatriz in a gutsy and under-sung performance) as she grapples with the aftermath of a brutal rape. While the subject matter is dark, Thompson’s critically acclaimed film approaches it with subtlety and humor. Continue reading…

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Top Ten 2012 – Jenny Halper

Les Miserables


Rust and Bone



Beasts of the Southern Wild

Deep Blue Sea



Ginger and Rosa

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AWFJ Women On Film – Anne Heche on Cedar Rapids, Comedy and Being A Redhead – Jenny Halper interviews

When Miguel Arteta’s broadly, sweetly funny Cedar Rapids opens Friday, Anne Heche, who stars as the sole woman in a group of misbehaving insurance agents, might finally get her nationwide due as the gifted comedian she’s technically been for the last fifteen years.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Juliette Lewis On Movies and Music – Jenny Halper interviews

The most striking thing about actress and rocker Juliette Lewis is that she’s so wonderfully herself, whether she’s calling an audience her own “band of misfits” or describing her affinity for empathy – a trait that shows up in all her onscreen work.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Anthony Edwards on Jogging, Filmmaking and Philanthropy – Jenny Halper interviews

Upon finishing his eight year starring stint on television’s popular ER series, Anthony Edwards took his wife and children on a trip around the world. While they were visiting Kenya, Edwards went for a jog with a young Masai Warrior named Lettura.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Vera Farmiga Chats About “Up In The Air” – Jenny Halper Interviews

Vera Farmiga has an astonishing ability to transform herself completely. In the past few years, she’s played a worn-out drug addict, a cop shrink, a depressed young mom, and the carefully coiffed wife of a Nazi Commandant, to name a few. In Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, she stars as a confident frequent flyer who happens to be George Clooney’s leading lady – and has more control over their on-the-run relationship than he does.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Tom Hooper On “The Damned United” – Jenny Halper interviews

Tom Hooper made his first short when he was thirteen. It was twenty five pounds worth of film stock spent chasing a runaway dog. The next year he found his social conscience – or so he says, half joking – tackling World War II (his grandfather was killed as a bomb navigator) and buskers, and by the time he was eighteen he was directing televised short films and winning awards.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Rupert Isaacson On “The Horse Boy” – Jenny Halper Interviews

When journalist Rupert Isaacson observed his autistic son’s unusual affinity for horses, he and his wife took five-year-old Rowan to the far reaches of Mongolia to seek the healing help of Shamans who work with horses and spiritually-based cures.  

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AWFJ Women On Film – Nia Vardalos on Movies and Motherhood – Jenny Halper

The huge box office success (US$ 356 million, if you’re counting) of My Big Fat Greek Wedding made Nia Vardalos one of the few women in Hollywood whose name can green light a movie. In two new movies releasing this summer–My Life In Ruins and I Hate Valentine’s Day, Vardalos emerges as a slimmed down version of the vivacious Greek-American gal with whom audiences have fallen in love. But she’s tired of discussing her weigh, and prefers to comment on her commitment to help women get ahead in moviemaking and the good cause she‘s adopted: adoption of children from foster care.

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Women On Film – Global Lens Filmmaker Teresa Prata – Jenny Halper interviews

Filmmaker Teresa Prata discovered Mia Couto’s “Sleepwalking Land” on a library shelf in Berlin. Prata, just beginning her film studies, was a newcomer to Germany and to cinema.

“You could say I didn’t find the book, the book found me,” says Prata, indicating that Couto’s novel about wartime friendship was an immediate, stay-up-all-night reminder of her own childhood in civil war-torn Mozambique.

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“Nothing But The Truth” – Rod Lurie Interview by Jenny Halper – Exclusive!

In Rod Lurie’s Nothing but the Truth, a female reporter who writes an article exposing a female CIA agent is thrown in jail for refusing to name her source. This might sound like a fictionalization of old news. It isn’t. At least, not according to Lurie.

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“Nothing But The Truth” – Kate Beckinsale Interview by Jenny Halper – Exclusive

Kate Beckinsale’s latest role – not as Judith Miller’s screen doppelganger but rather as a journalist/mom who happens to find herself in Miller’s lose-lose situation – follows Oscar-worthy work in the tiny indie Snow Angels, marking a departure from the blockbusters for which the actress is best known.

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“Hounddog” – Jenny Halper reviews

It might not be possible to review Hounddog without commenting on the controversy – Sundance screenings, committees of concerned parents, online petitions, the list could continue – but I am going to try. The film was written and directed by relative newcomer and genuine talent Deborah Kampmeier. It tells the story of Lewellen, a young girl who lives in a world where fantasy overtakes reality.

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Virginia Madsen and Karly Meola’s Production Company – Jenny Halper Profiles

It’s not just about the girls. Karly Meola and Virginia Madsen look beyond chick flicks to expand opportunities for women filmmakers – and tell stories that transcend

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“Frozen River” – AWFJ Outreach – Jenny Halper’s Students Write Reviews

Under the banner of “community outreach,” Boston-based AWFJ member Jenny Halper screened “Frozen River” for her students at Emerson College’s Young Writers Program, then assigned them to review the film.

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“Frozen River ” – Jenny Halper reviews

It’s rare to see a film that sets up a world both extremely recognizable and rarely seen, and rarer still when it turns out to ask moral questions without preaching. In her debut feature Frozen River, Courtney Hunt creates a story that serves simultaneously as a thriller and an insightful examination of the line between morality and necessity

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Laura Linney chats with Jenny Halper re “The Savages”

On screen she’s a chameleon; in person the actress is disarmingly down-to-earth and smart enough to intimidate you even though that’s clearly not what she’s trying to do. Read more

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Jenny Halper on “Trade”

Inspired by Peter Landesman’s NY Times article, “The Girls Next Door,” “Trade” exposes traffickers who lure young, naïve girls to Mexico for supposedly legit jobs, only to drug and smuggle them into the US, where they are crammed into basement brothels and kept as sex slaves.

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“Into The Wild,” review by Jenny Halper

Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book, which began as an article for Outside magazine, uses flashbacks, voiceover, and chapters – pretty much every unconventional trick of the screenwriting trade – to tell the story in a stirring way. It works.

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Elisabeth Shue talks about “Gracie” with Jenny Halper

“Gracie,” starring and produced by Elisabeth Shue, is inspired both by the death of her older brother and by her tireless dedication to sports, soccer in particular.

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Vera Farmiga, profiled by Jenny Halper

When Vera Farmiga was preparing to play an underemployed drug addict, shivering in a rehab center and working the grocery checkout line in upstate New York, she probably didn’t know she was making the movie that would ultimately land her a plum role in “The Departed.”

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