A KID LIKE JAKE — Review by Susan Granger

Originating as an Off-Broadway play in which the titular character never appears, this family drama curiously lacks credibility because there’s too little focus on young Jake. Set in Brooklyn, the story revolves around lawyer-turned-stay-at-home mom Alex (Claire Danes) and her therapist husband Greg (Jim Parsons). They’re perplexed and defensive when their four year-old son, Jake (Leo James Davis), expresses a definitive preference for dressing in Disney princess costumes and playing with so-called girls’ toys. Continue reading…

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THE SHAPE OF WATER — Review by Lauren Veneziani

The Shape of Water is the work of director, Guillermo del Toro, who is known for his visionary filmmaking. The film is a sort of Beauty and the Beast. It is set in 1962 and Sally Hawkins is a mute janitor who works in a science facility that is holding an aquatic creature to study it. She and the creature have their own way of communicating with each other through sign language, and they end up falling in love. Continue reading…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: RIP Mary Tyler Moore, plus news on Octavia Spencer, Lily Tomlin, Kristen Chenoweth and more — by Brandy McDonnell

In this THE WEEK IN WOMEN news roundup.we remember the wonderful Mary Tyler Moore, report on honors for Octavia Spencer and Lily Tomlin, follow Kristin Chenoweth’s praise for Lion for its treatment of adoption, and praise Kerry Washington as she urges courage at Sundance. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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HIDDEN FIGURES stars on how working at NASA in the 1960s is a little like Hollywood — interview by Stephanie Merry

“Any upward movement for one of us is upward movement for all,” Octavia Spencer said. “If we don’t get there together, we don’t get there.” The spirit of teamwork also shows up in the plot of their movie, Hidden Figures. During the space race, NASA’s Langley Research Center employed black female mathematicians to calculate, among other things, launch and landing for the country’s first astronauts. After all, John Glenn didn’t make it into space alone, and one person who helped was Katherine Johnson, played by Henson. Spencer and Monáe play two other real-life math virtuosos, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Read more>>

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HIDDEN FIGURES — Review by Susan Granger

Searching through history often reveals untold true stories that are hidden gems: this is one of them. During the early 1960s, several African-American women worked for NASA, providing the mathematical data needed to launch America’s first successful space mission. But, every day – in a myriad of ways – their integrity and perseverance were challenged by the hostile racism and inherent sexism of that period. Read on…

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BLACK OR WHITE — Review by Susan Granger

Writer/director Mike Binder delves into his own family history for this timely dramedy, starring Kevin Costner as a grieving widower who must fight to retain custody of the beloved bi-racial granddaughter. Still stunned over the death of his wife Carol (Jennifer Ehle) in an automobile accident, Scotch-swilling attorney Elliot Anderson (Costner) is, nevertheless, determined to continue to raise seven year-old Eloise (Jillian Estell) in Brentwood, the affluent Los Angeles suburb where she’s lived all her life. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1: BLACK OR WHITE

Opening Jan. 30, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Black or White, which reunites star Kevin Costner with writer/director Mike Binder (Man About Town, Reign Over Me) a decade after The Upside of Anger. Here, Costner takes the role of Elliot Anderson, a recently widowed lawyer who finds himself drawn into a brutal custody battle for his (mixed-race) granddaughter Eloise (newcomer Jillian Estell), who he has helped raise since her mother died during childbirth and her drug addict father proved incapable, Going up against Eloise’s iron-willed paternal grandmother Rowena (Octavia Spencer), Elliot must pull himself together and use his professional arsenal if he is to keep hold of the only family he has left. Read on…

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2011 EDA Award Winners!

The Artist scores multiple 2011 EDA Awards, and there are top honors for Viola, Kristen, Jessica, Lynne, Rooney, Saoirse, Angelina and Beans, and for some mighty memorable men, as well.

Then, too, we present AWFJ’s unique Female Focus and Special Mention awards. See whether you agree with our choice of the Most Memorable Moment, Best Nudity and Actress Most In Need of A New Agent!

See the list of winners.>>

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