THE FOUNDER — Review by Susan Granger

Michael Keaton (“Spotlight,” “Birdman”) plays ruthless Ray Kroc in this backstory of the ubiquitous McDonald’s franchise, an innovative, assembly-line idea that revolutionized the fast food industry. In 1952, traveling salesman Kroc was working hard, peddling milkshake machines to drive-ins in the Midwest, while avidly absorbing “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, January 13 – January 20, 2017: 13TH

13Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13TH was the first nonfiction film to open the New York Film Festival. The film has gone on to garner numerous prizes and is currently shortlisted for the Academy Awards.

The 13th amendment provides a point of departure, but the film is far more than investigation of mass incarceration in the US. It is a history lesson, a cinema essay and cogent and irrefutable indictment of the economic and cultural policies that are the enduring legacy of slavery. Read on…

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AWFJ Welcomes New Members for 2017

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists receives applications for membership throughout the year, and invites several applicants to join the organization at the beginning of each year. For 2017, we have invited eight exceptional, enthusiastic and dedicated film journalists to become AWFJ members. We Welcome them to the organization and look forward to collaborating with them on AWFJ projects that will advance the cause of gender parity and diversity on screen, behind the lens and in film media and journalism. To meet our new members, read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Golden Globes and Wonder Woman, Space and Women Win Box Office – Brandy McDonnell reports

At the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 74th annual Golden Globe Awards, La La Land took all seven awards for which it was nominated, while Meryl Streep, honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, took on Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter during his campaign. Streep called on the press to keep the powerful in check and for the Hollywood community to support the Committee to Protect Journalists. Wonder Woman, finally fighting her way to the silver screen, will open June 2. Hidden Figures and the blockbuster prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finished in a virtual tie for first at the domestic box office. Read all the details on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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JACKIE — Review by Martha P. Nochimson

JACKIE_1Sheet_ONLINE_4R2_MoreRed.inddPablo Larrain’s new film, Jackie, starring Natalie Portman in the title role, recounts the way Jacqueline Kennedy dealt with the terrible days right after the assassination of President Kennedy, and also how in retrospect she came to think about her role and that historical moment. The film adopts a low key, talking-head rhetoric about the woman, her trials and tribulations, and the ordeal the United States went through. But it ends with the (inordinately) triumphant strains of the final song from the Broadway musical Camelot, as Richard Burton sings, “Don’t let it be forgot/That once there was a spot/For one brief shining moment/ That was known as Camelot.” What are we to make of this ecstatic explosion of kitsch as the culmination of an essentially quiet film about one of the most wrenching episodes in modern American history? Read more on EYE ON MEDIA

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Greta Gerwig and Mike Mills on 20TH CENTURY WOMEN — Interview by Tomris Laffly

20th-century-women-posterGreta Gerwig says Mike Mills is at his core a listener and he started 20th Century Women from a place of being a listener. “He was raised by women basically. But he didn’t make any assumptions and he interviewed them all. It’s why the film feels like it’s about real women, and not about imagined projections of women by a man, which is what it usually feels like.” Asked whether he would call himself a true feminist, Mike Mills opines that it’s not really his place to say. “Well, I’m a male ally to women. A feminist? That’s something for women to decide.” Read more>>

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20th CENTURY WOMEN — Review by Susan Granger

Set in 1979, writer/director Mike Mills weaves an intriguing tale about Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a chain-smoking, single mom who enlists the help of family and friends in nurturing her rebellious 15 year-old son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), as he struggles to find his identity while growing into manhood. They live in a large, old house in Santa Barbara, California, with a couple of boarders: punk photographer Abby (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited feminist recovering from cervical cancer, and William (Billy Crudup), an earthy carpenter/handyman who’s helping Dorothea renovate the ramshackle Victorian place. Read on…

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It’s a Wrap: AWFJ Looks Back at 2016

AWFJ is completing our tenth anniversary year, and it’s time to take stock and evolve. What has our organization accomplished during 2016, and what are our goals for 2017. But as we look back to evaluate our accomplishments and before we set forth plans for a new year filled with worthwhile projects, let’s pause for a moment to give due credit to the AWFJ members who’ve contributed their ideas, time and energy to make our 2016 programs and enterprises so successful. Well done! And here’s round of applause and a virtual pat on the back to each of you in recognition of your collegiality and activism. Now on to the nitty gritty about what AWFJ has done curing 2016, with shout outs to individual members who helmed projects and made them happen. Read on…

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FENCES — Review by Susan Granger

Adapting a Broadway play for the screen is always a challenge – one that Denzel Washington found daunting, particularly since August Wilson’s iconic chronicle of a dysfunctional family is a Pulitzer Prize-winning glimpse into the essential African-American experience. Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the 1950s, it revolves around the relationship between a bitter, Negro League baseball player-turned-sanitation worker, 53 year-old Troy Maxon (Washington), and his long-suffering wife Rose (Viola Davis) Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Golden Globes So White? – Brandy McDonnell comments

The Golden Globes might actually be a revealing indicator of how Hollywood’s entire awards structure has responded to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of the past few years. Again, the Globes have twice as many categories as the Oscars, honoring the best lead and supporting players in both drama and musical/comedy films. But this year’s fields are refreshingly diverse with nominees like Loving‘s Ruth Negga, Fences‘ Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, Hidden Figures‘ Octavia Spencer, Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris and Lion‘s Dev Patel competing. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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