JANE GOT A GUN, KUNG FU PANDA 3, 50 SHADES OF BLACK and other Jan 29 openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

Jane Got a Gun posterJane Got a Gun, a Western starring Natalie Portman as a woman determined to save her husband from outlaws trying to kill him, is a complex, suspenseful drama. Kung Fu Panda 3 is an entertaining family film that will bring out your inner child. 50 Shades of Black satirizes Grey, but neither satisfies. In The Boy, a nanny is hired to care for boy who is a life-size doll — or maybe not. Freaky scary. Confessions of a Serial Monogamist, set in Toronto’s Queer community, plumbs commitment issues faced by a lesbian in love. Read the reviews>>

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On #OscarsSoWhite, Genre Inclusion, and Enabling the Status Quo – Candice Frederick comments

The blinding whiteness of the Oscars nominations is on the tips of everyone’s tongues–again. Honestly, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that once again the Academy completely ignored performances from people like Benicio del Toro (Sicario), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight), Rinko Kikuchi (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter) and all the lead actors in Straight Outta Compton. We all know they have a looooong history of blatantly ignoring some of the best talent of color ever to walk the earth. In an industry that continues to pat itself on the back, suck its own b*lls, and self-congratulate over and over (so much so that that they don’t have just one award, they have a season of awards), none of this is shocking. But what might be the most frightening thing about all of this is that there are actually people out there who scoff at accusations of Academy discrimination. Read more>>

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2015 EDA Awards Winners and Photo Gallery

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ 2015 EDA Awards winners were announced on January 12, 2016. Top honors went to Spotlight, which won four EDA Awards: best film, best director, best original screenplay and tied for best ensemble. We presented the award certificates to Sasha Pfeifer, the Boston Globe investigative journalist who is portrayed by Rachel McAdam in the film. See photos here.

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KUNG FU PANDA 3 – Review by Susan Granger

As “Kung Fu Panda 2” ended, Po’s long-lost biological father Li realizes, “My son is alive.” So this third installment of the animated trilogy is about Po (voiced by Jack Black) reuniting with Li (voiced by Bryan Cranston) and discovering his roots in their ancestral panda village, while coping with Kai (voiced by J.K. Simmons), a self-righteous, power-hungry spirit that’s risen from the dead, leading zombie-like warriors. Read on…

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Hollywood’s Diversity Politics Reach an Intersection – Jennifer Merin comments

The complaints about the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscars nominations, targeted primarily at the acting categories, attribute the problem to the Academy’s predominantly “old white men” constituency, shifting the main media focus from feminist #HollywoodBoysClub concerns to the equally important but more general #OscarsTooWhite issue. Many of us, however, would like to focus on this as a moment of intersection between the two related protests. Read more…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, January 25-31: JANE GOT A GUN

Jane Got a Gun poster Opening Jan. 29, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Jane Got a Gun, the long-gestating Western starring Natalie Portman as a high plains woman seeking to save her husband from the outlaw gang who are after his blood. Read on…

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TWIW: Academy’s Diversity Booster, plus Viola Davis, Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander and more — Brandy McDonnell comments

The Academy’s Cheryl Boone Isaac??????????????? has announced “a sweeping series of substantive changes” to boost diversity, including a commitment to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020, but can the Oscars truly change unless Hollywood changes, too? Viola Davis addresses diversity issues in television and film. Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander take on new roles and a tribute to Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion. Read more in THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Frontrunner SPOTLIGHT, #OscarsSoWhite, The Contentious Award Season – Quendrith Johnson comments

If Oscar-winner Sean Penn can go interview El Chapo, then the state of journalism really is in trouble — oh, never mind, this is just indicative of how movie people perceive and interpret the craft of journalistic writing and reporting. A cocky Penn goes on Charlie Rose to call out those who ‘don’t think I’m a real journalist,’ while having committed a de facto ethical violation of the profession by grandstanding for Rolling Stone with a fugitive, mass-murdering, drug Lord. But, if turnabout is fair play, most journalists would happily take a shot at starring in his next straight-to-video motion picture. But what are we really discussing here, writing, reporting, The Death of The Media, The Rise of The Internet? Nope. This inelegant segue leads directly to our Oscar front runner for Best Picture, Spotlight. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCER

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2015 AWFJ EDA Award: Lily Tomlin Defies Age and Ageism

AWFJ President Jennifer Merin presents Lily Tomlin with the AWFJ EDA Award for Actress Defying age and Ageism

AWFJ President Jennifer Merin presents Lily Tomlin with the AWFJ EDA Award for Actress Defying age and Ageism

To see the full list of 2015 AWFJ EDA Awards, click here. For more 2015 EDA Award photos, click here.

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CINEMA CITIZEN: Hollywood’s Diversity Controversy Heats Up – Jennifer Merin comments

oscar statuettes croppedIndignation about the dearth of opportunity for women filmmakers and inadequate representation of women on screen is reaching fevered pitch, exacerbated by the scarcity of women nominees for Oscars in all but the best actress and supporting actress categories, and the poor showing for women in 2016′s theatrical releases to date. Read more on CINEMA CITIZEN>>

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