RED SPARROW — Review by Martha K. Baker

‘Red Sparrow’ spills blood all over Russia. Whoever had the blood concession for “Red Sparrow” earned enough in blood money to buy Band-Aids for life. Not that life will last long in the environment of this horribly violent, horribly sexualized exploitation version of Mad magazine’s “Spy v. Spy.” “Red Sparrow” shocks without elucidating anything but Putin’s manifesto. Continue reading…

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, December 21 – 30 : 45 YEARS

45years posterOpening Dec. 23, and highlighting the holiday season, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is 45 Years, British writer/director Andrew Haigh’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2011 film Weekend Read on…

read more

45 YEARS, STAR WARS 7, SON OF SAUL, SISTERS, and other December 18-30 Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

45years posterCharlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay give glowing performances in 45 Years, a drama about managing a marriage through a time of mistrust and crisis. Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes off with a new heroine played by Daisy Ridley. Son of Saul provides an intimate look at the struggle for survival and for saving faith in a Nazi death camp. Sisters stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as sibs who want to make the most of their last visit to their childhood home before it is sold to new owners. Michael Moore’s Where To Invade Next explores the wide world for aspects of the American dream that have been realized in other nations, but not our own. Joy stars Jennifer Lawrence as a beleaguered wife and mother who invents a new and prosperous life for herself. Read the reviews…

read more

45 YEARS – Review by Susan Granger

Set in the rural Norfolk countryside, Andrew Heigh’s emotional drama revolves around a middle-class English couple who are preparing to celebrate their 45th anniversary when the arrival of a mysterious letter shakes the foundation of their seemingly idyllic marriage. Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) Mercer are stunned when an official dispatch from Switzerland informs Geoff that the body of his former German girlfriend, Katya, has been found. Read on…

read more

Ten Noteworthy Female Performances at TIFF 2015 – Pam Grady Reports

tiff logoWith the Toronto International Film Festival, the Oscar season officially opens in North American. Oh, there are other fall festivals that provide a window into awards season, Telluride, New York Film Festival, and Mill Valley Film Festival among them, but Toronto with its hundreds of features is one of the true harbingers of nominations to come. And while there was much emphasis this year on women behind the camera—20% of features and 45% of shorts at TIFF were made by women, according to figures cited by Indiewire—the festival also provided a peek at performances that should warrant attention from Academy voters (or ought to!), if not this season, then next. Read more on THE FEMALE GAZE

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, October 5-11: THE FORBIDDEN ROOM

forbidden room poster
Opening October 2, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Forbidden Room, artist filmmaker Guy Maddin’s latest experimental work set in the claustrophobic confines of a marooned submarine deep below the ocean’s surface. Read on…

read more

Digging Deeper into Toronto Festival Films – An Overview by Janice Page

tiff logoToronto International Film Festival was overrun with big movies about and by Bostonians. While headlines were grabbed by predictable awards-season contenders, there were just as many smaller films worth noting. A number of them were femme-helmed and femme-centric flashes of genius. Think Laurie Anderson, Julie Delpy, Charlotte Rampling, Sarah Silverman and others. Read more>>

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

Charlotte Rampling: The Look – Review by Jennifer Merin

Vulnerability. Exposure. Sensuality. These are key subjects under considerstion as Charlotte Rampling, sublimely wise at age 55, comments on her approach to performance, career arc and personal evolution, while looking into filmmaker Angelina Maccarone’s camera for The Look, an insightful and intimate documentary profile of the revered actress. Read more>>

read more

November Movies Wrap – Jennifer Merin

Be thankful this November. “Pale Male” flies into theaters Nov. 24 and before then the calendar offers a banquet of films by-for-about women. The feast began Nov. 4 with “Another Happy Day” and includes the stunning French film “Tomboy.” Read more>>

read more