THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Carrie Fisher, Cate Blanchett, Reba McEntire and more… — Brandy McDonnell reports

Star Wars fans have their last opportunity to see Carrie Fisher as princess-turned-general Leia Organa in Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, due in December. Cate Blanchett is Marvel’s first female villain, Reba McEntire to star in Red Blooded on TV, and Beauty and the Beast tops $1-billion. THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

read more

AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Rooney Mara Revered by Cate Blanchett and Todd Haynes – Quendrith Johnson reports

rooney maraTo hear fellow Oscar-nom, two-time winner Cate Blanchett, gush about her Best Supporting Actress and Carol consort Rooney Mara, is almost as shocking as when Blanchett uses the word “startling” to describe Mara’s acting chops. Next “The Great Cate” cobbles together some descriptive sentences worthy of a literary titan. It’s more of a love letter than an endorsement, in keeping with the forbidden 1950′s women-in-love angle in Carol. Read more on AWARDS INTELLIGENCER

read more

THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Are 2015′s Gender Gains Sustainable? Plus Blanchett, Streisand and Hollywood’s Most Powerful Women — Brandy McDonnell Reports

DAISY RIDLEY STAR WARSAs 2015 comes to a close, the question becomes are women’s box office successes just milestones in a particularly good feminist year? Or are they markers on the road to true change? The truth is, movies about and directed by women were not the rarity they’ve become since the early days of Hollywood. The entertainment industry has had its moments, particularly in the 1980s, when it vowed to open opportunities for women and seemed to do so for a while before slipping back into its comfort zone of unconscious bias and systemic sexism. What’s on the horizon? Plus Cate Blanchett signs on for Thor, Barbra Streisand is honored, Women in Film names grant recipients and this year’s list of the most powerful women in Hollywood. Read about it all in THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, November 17-November 23: CAROL

carol posterOpening Nov. 20, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Carol, director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, I’m Not There) sumptuous new drama staring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women who are drawn to each other in the strict moral landscape of 1950s New York.

Adapted by debut feature screenwriter Phyllis Nagy from the novel by Patricia Highsmith, Carol is an exquisite example of an awards contender which more than lives up to the high expectations of the season. This is thanks to both the quality of the material and its telling; Nagy’s script is perfectly pitched, as is Haynes masterful direction, but the real strength – and joy – of this film is found in its two lead performances. Read on…

read more

MISS YOU ALREADY, TRUMBO, SPOTLIGHT, SPECTRE and other November 6 openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

miss you already poster copyDon’t miss Miss You Already, a moving drama about lasting friendship between two women. Skip The Outskirts, a film that casts teenage girls as bullies. Trumbo and Spotlight, two superb truth-based narratives that put mainstream media under scrutiny, feature fine female performances — by Diane Lane and Helen Mirren in Trumbo, and by Cate Blanchett in Spotlight. SPECTRE draws on past James Bond plots, introduces new spy gadgets and continues agent antics in a way that’s appealingly spoofy — but women are still foils for Bond’s fancies. Brooklyn stars Saoirse Ronan as an Irish woman who immigrates to America to find a better life, but finds herself torn between the land of opportunity and her homeland. Read the reviews…

read more

Top Female Performances @ New York Film Festival 2015 – Liz Whittemore comments

nyff 53 logo realWith the abundance of beautiful films that screened at this year’s festival, I wanted to call to attention to a few key women who stood out from the crowd. Some were obvious to spot and already buzz-worthy. Others flew under the radar but deserve just as much applause. Altogether they add up to a significant showing for strong and complex women characters on the big screen. Welcome to the top performances by women of the New York Film Festival 2015. Read more on THE FEMALE GAZE…

read more

BALLERINA’S TALE, ROOM, MEADOWLAND, WATCHERS OF THE SKY and Other Oct 16 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

abt_poster_copyA Ballerina’s Tale pays tribute to the talent and tenacity of Misty Copeland, the African American ballerina who defied racial stereotyping to grand jete from corps de ballet into principal roles. Watchers of the Sky is filmmaker Edet Belzberg’s profile of international activist Raphael Lemkin, who defined ‘genocide’ and fought tirelessly to punish and prevent it worldwide. Beasts of No Nation is a harrowing tale of an African boy who’s forced to become a soldier. Room, Truth and Meadowland feature exceptional performances by Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Wilde, respectively. Momentum and Assassin boast badass female leading characters, played by Olga Kurylenko and Qi Shu, respectively. Crimson Peak casts Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain in great Gothic spectacle. Read the reviews.

read more

TRUTH – Review by Susan Granger

James Vanderbilt’s “Truth” examines the scandal that erupted after CBS Nightly News anchor Dan Rather ran a “60 Minutes” segment asserting that President George W. Bush used family connections to avoid combat in Vietnam and never fulfilled his tenure in the Texas Air National Guard. If this report had not been subsequently discredited, it might have tipped the 2004 Presidential election to Democrat John Kerry. Read on…

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, March 9-15: CINDERELLA

Opening March 13, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Cinderellaa live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale from actor/director Kenneth Brangh, who follows up previous films Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit and Thor with something altogether more gentle. Read on…

read more

2015 Films Gave Actresses Vehicles for Greatness — Jennifer Merin comments

Merin-Top-RoleLooking back over this past year, 2015 saw a bounty of fabulous women illuminating big screens. Think about it. There were a greater-then-usual number of complex female characters who sprang to life on the screen from real life herstory or from fiction, giving brilliantly talented actresses of all ages and all phases in their careers to excel. Additionally, several superb documentaries focused on the life and times of iconic women who’ve shaped and are shaping our popular culture. Here’s my overview of fifteen of the year’s key female characters and performances, and women in documentaries. See as many of these standouts from the year as you can. Read more>>

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, June 9-15: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

dragon2-160

Opening June 13, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is How to Train Your Dragon 2, the epic second chapter in a planned trilogy that returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. This time around the inseparable duo must protect the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago. New cast members Kit Harington, Cate Blanchett and Djimon Honsou join the original cast—Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and Kristen Wiig in this rousing follow up based on the novels by Cressida Cowell. Read on…

read more

Winners of the 2013 AWFJ EDA Awards!

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is proud to announce the winners of its 8th Annual EDA Awards.

Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” was a clear winner with six total trophies: starting with Best Film, it swept the AWFJ EDA “Best of” categories with four awards; took another in the female-centric EDA Focus Awards; and earned its sixth win in the EDA Special Mention section.

Among the “BEST OF” EDA Awards—which parallel those conferred by other voting organizations—Cate Blanchett was honored as Best Actress for “Blue Jasmine,” and Matthew McConaughey earned Best Actor for “Dallas Buyer’s Club.”

read more

AWFJ Women On Film – “Hanna” – Susan Granger reviews

Father Knows Best takes on a whole new meaning when a teenage warrior – played by ethereal-looking Saoirse Ronan (“The Lovely Bones,” “Atonement”) – ventures out into the cold, cruel world, where she’s forced to fight for her life.

read more