DISOBEDIENCE — Review by Susan Granger

Chilean director Sebastian Lelio, who won this year’s Foreign Language Oscar for the transgender drama A Fantastic Woman, has adapted Naomi Alderman’s novel as his first English-language film, co-writing with playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida). Set in Hendon, the north London suburb where the Alderman, a former Orthodox Jew, grew up, it begins as elderly, revered Rav Krushka (Anton Lesser) is giving what will be his last sermon – on the nature of free will, a divine gift bestowed only on humans. Continue reading…

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DISOBEDIENCE — Review by Martha K. Baker

Disobedience deals with a vow to obey. Sebastián Lelio has made a name for himself as a director not just of films about women but of films about women on the edge. In Gloria, Lelio looked at a woman d’un certain age, flirting with a younger man; in A Fantastic Woman, he looked at a woman, who was once a man. In Disobedience, he looks at two women, former lovers. They meet again when Ronit Krushka returns to her orthodox Jewish community for the funeral of her much revered father, a rabbi of rectitude. He acted as bailiff of his bailiwick when he kicked her out, and he continued to ostracize her after his death by not mentioning her in his obituary and in not leaving her his home in his will. Continue reading…

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GAME NIGHT — Review by Martha K. Baker

‘Game Night’ proves to be fitfully funny. This bombette is being sold as produced by the people who brought you “Horrible Bosses.” Now, that was funny, right there. And “Game Night” is funny, too — fitfully rather than fluidly. However, if belly laughs are as medicinal as claimed, then the gut-busters provided by “Game Night” balance the other 65 minutes of flat-lining. Continue reading…

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TIFF 2017: Of Evil Mothers, Courageous Women and Oscars Buzz!– Julide Tanriverdi reports

tiff logoActresses showed impressive range in a variety of roles at this year’s TIFF. Sure, people were talking about the incredible performance of Gary Oldman in The Darkest Hour as Winston Churchill during during the festival. After all that’s what one does during a 10 day long festival – talk movies and performances. We can all agree more or less that we can mark a big X in the yet to be released Oscar nominations for Best Actor Oldman. But more often than not, the true rage at TIFF 17 was about great Oscar buzz-generating performances by women in a wide variety of movies. Continue reading…

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Sacha Pfeiffer talks SPOTLIGHT, Journalism and Subtext — Quendrith Johnson Interviews

RacheSachaOne thing is certain, in Oscar Best Film contender Spotlight, Rachel McAdams is well-cast as Boston Globe investigative reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, who proves to be an intensely interesting character in her own right. A key member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that cracked open the priest sex-abuse scandal that’s plumbed in the film, and dethroned Boston’s Catholic powerbroker Cardinal Law, Pfeiffer packed a impactful editorial punch. She still does when it comes to social and political issues. But when you meet her, she tilts her head to one side, leans back a bit and welcome you into her zone. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCER...

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SOUTHPAW – Review by Susan Granger

At the Cannes Film Festival, Harvey Weinstein publicly predicted that Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler,” “Prisoners”) would get a Best Actor nomination as light-heavyweight champion Billy “The Great” Hope. In preparation for this arduous role, Gyllenhaal bulked up and worked out with boxers Victor Ortiz and Miguel Gomez. 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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