MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 22 – 29, 2017: BATTLE OF THE SEXES

motw logo 1-35Battle of the Sexes takes its name from the historic 1973 grudge match between tennis superstar Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former champ Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). But the movie is about so much more than that singular game, no matter how big that game turned out to be. It’s about acknowledging and accepting who you are, standing up for what you believe, and using your voice to fight for the people who need you. Continue reading…

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BATTLE OF THE SEXES — Review by Susan Wloszczyna

battle of the sexes posterThose of us still upset over Hillary Clinton’s election loss as well as the ugly gender-based backlash unfairly aimed at her book tour will be glad to bask in the nostalgic glow of Battle of the Sexes. The year was 1973, a time when the feminist movement was in full swing and dumb bra-burning jokes and derisive comments about hairy-legged libbers were all the rage. And nothing quite symbolized the fight for equal rights quite so well than when 29-year-old Billie Jean King, the top female tennis player in the world, kicked the butt of 55-year-old self-proclaimed male chauvinist pig Bobby Riggs on primetime TV that was watched by 90 million viewers worldwide. Continue reading…

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BATTLE OF THE SEXES — Review by Jeanne Wolf

“Battle of the Sexes” is not your traditional sports drama. You’re probably expecting to spend a lot of time watching the ball go back and forth across the net in this biopic based on the classic match watched by millions between the Number One Women’s tennis player Billie Jean King and former champ and unstoppable hustler Bobby Riggs. Continue reading…

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BATTLE OF THE SEXES — Review by Cate Marquis

Emma Stone gives a strong, appealing performance in BATTLE OF THE SEXES, a well-meaning if uneven film about the 1973 tennis match between tennis great Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. It is overstating it to call it a Billy Jean King biopic. Instead it focuses on a cultural pivot point when 29-year-old women’s tennis champion Billy Jean King (Stone) took part in a match against a clownish self-described male chauvinist named Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell). But despite his buffoon behavior and penchant for wearing outlandish costumes during matches, Bobby Riggs was no ordinary clown on the court but a former tennis champ and Hall of Famer. The comedy distracted his opponents on the court, concealing the fact that at 55, Riggs was still a formidable tennis player. Continue reading…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, December 5 – December 9, 2016: La La Land

1Sheet_Master.qxdMovie musicals. They come and then they go. And then sometimes they come back again. La La Land, the latest from director Damien Chazelle is an homage to the acid-bright technicolor extravaganzas of old Hollywood. Romantic and swoony to be sure, but leavened with a modernist twist that cuts the schmaltz. Read on…

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LA LA LAND — Review by Susan Granger

Opening with a fabulous fantasy sequence of morning commuters caught in congested traffic on Los Angeles’ freeways, Damien Chazelle’s dazzling contemporary musical chronicles longing, love and lingering wistfulness. Aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) works as a barista at a café on the Warner Brothers’ studio lot, while brooding jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is tired of playing background music at bars and restaurants. They “meet cute” several times before they actually connect, tapping and twirling to “A Lovely Night.” Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Farewell Kudos to Katniss, NYT Inequality Callout, plus Editors, Emma and EDA – Brandy McDonnell reports

hunger games mock 2The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 boasts a bittersweet ending, and who knows when Hollywood will give us another epic female hero like Katniss Everdeen. Female film editors add their strong voices to the chorus of film industry women who are shouting out about inequality and gender bias in Hollywood. Emma Stone takes court and EDA Awards presented at SLIFF. Read more in THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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IRRATIONAL MAN – Review by Susan Granger

Woody Allen has won four Academy Awards, along with the seven bestowed on actors in his films. His 46th film as a director is a comedy about a tormented, disillusioned philosophy professor who muses about “morality, choice and the aesthetics of life, randomness and murder.” When Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) arrives at Rhode Island’s (fictional) Braylin College, his charismatic reputation precedes him – at least rumors about his alcoholism and legendary penchant for young women. Which poses an enticing challenge for frustrated faculty colleague, Rita Richards (Parker Posey), and eager philosophy student, Jill Pollard (Emma Stone). Read on…

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ALOHA – Review by Susan Granger

Just how bad is Cameron Crowe’s jumbled romantic dramedy? Let me count the ways… Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Oct. 13-19: BIRDMAN

Opening Oct. 17, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Birdman, which sees the very welcome return of Michael Keaton to leading man status. He takes the deliciously knowing role of a washed up actor who found fame playing a superhero some years before, and is now attempting to recapture those former glories by staging a play on Broadway. Critics are calling it a virtuoso, powerhouse performance and a career highlight for Keaton, who both embraces and commands a dramatic role which allows him to showcase a range of emotions. Read on…

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Easy A” – Review by Susan Granger

If you bemoan the fact that there hasn’t been a fresh, original and funny high school comedy in a long time, get thee to “Easy A,” which updates Hester Prynne’s dilemma in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” in somewhat the same way Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless” revised Jane Austen’s “Emma” 15 years ago.

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