AWFJ Movie of the Week, Aug 10 – Aug. 16: SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY

she's funny that way poster copy Opening August 14, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is She’s Funny That Way, the new film from actor/writer/director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show). Described as a screwball comedy in the same vein as Bogdanovich’s 1972 classic What’s Up Doc?, it follows the interconnected lives of the cast and crew of a Broadway show. Read on…

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DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, RICKI AND THE FLASH, KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROFIT and other August 7 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

thediaryofateenagegirl_poster copyThe Diary of a Teenage Girl is the must-see, especially if you’re interested in challenging, stimulating feminist cinema. Ricki and The Flash is a slick Diablo Cody-scripted dramedy starring Meryl Streep as an aging rock star who wants to reconnect with her family. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet brings to animation the famous tale of Mustafa, the revolutionary poet/philosopher who answers his followers’ questions with poetic parables, each animated here by a different artist — three of whom are women. Plus The Gift, Dark Places and Enchanted Kingdom 3D. Read the reviews>>

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SHAUN THE SHEEP – Review by Susan Granger

After making his debut 20 years ago in Nick Park’s Oscar-winning “Wallace and Gromit” outing “A Close Shave,” Shaun the Sheep has become a British TV favorite. Now, he has his own full-length feature film. For a rebellious ram, like Shaun (vocalized by Justin Fletcher), life at Mossy Bottom Farm can get a bit tiresome. Every day, the Farmer (vocalized by John Sparkes) and his loyal sheepdog Blitzer (also Sparkes) take Shaun and the rest of the flock to graze in the fields. Read more>>

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BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS – Preview by Liz Whittemore

bloodsuckingComedy and horror oftentimes go hand in hand. This new release brings the giggles and the gore. Whedonverse favorite Fran Kranz stars as Evan Sanders, a low-level, dutiful employee stuck in a boring job at a soul-killing corporation. One month and counting until BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS hits theaters and VOD. Read more>>

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THE GIFT – Review by Susan Granger

Australian actor Joel Edgerton (“Animal Kingdom,” Warrior,” “The Great Gatsby”) makes an auspicious directorial debut with this taut psychological thriller. It begins as Simon (Jason Bateman) and his sensitive wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) buy a mid-century modern, glass-encased house in Los Angeles, near the suburb where Simon grew up. They’ve moved from Chicago because Simon has a lucrative job opportunity as a sales executive at a computer security company. Read more>>

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THE GIFT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Oh, but The Gift is an infuriating movie on so many levels. It can’t decide if it wants to be serious drama or a salacious thriller, and so it’s nowhere near enough of either, and each aspect seems to be laughing at the other. It touches on sensitive, tangled emotional matters that could easily be the basis for either sort of movie — how the effects of bullying in childhood linger into adulthood; how stress and grief can render us unable to function in daily life; how even the most intimate of relationships can be tinged by a lack of trust; and more — but it fumbles all of them so badly that it contradicts itself constantly, as if it doesn’t really understand the pain it is attempting to appropriate. Read more>>

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Aug 3 – Aug. 9: THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

thediaryofateenagegirl_poster copy Opening August 7, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Diary of a Teenage Girl, the directorial debut of actress/writer Marielle Heller (A Walk Amongst The Tombstones ). British actress Bel Powley (A Royal Night Out ) plays headstrong 17-year-old artist Minnie, living with her mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) in 1970s San Francisco and indulging in a sexual relationship with Charlotte’s boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Read on…

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SPOTLIGHT August 2015: Natalie Portman, Actress, Activist and Crusader for Women Directors

awfjspotlightsmallsmallportman excerptNatalie Portman is no stranger to Hollywood. The Oscar-winning actress’ first feature film, Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional, debuted when she was only 13 years old. Since then, she’s racked up dozens of film credits, some of them—Closer, Black Swan—better than others. Looking at You, Star Wars prequels. But isn’t that the way? This consummate, classy professional has made it through decades in the film industry and earned a mantlepiece full of awards along the way… two of them, I’d be remiss not to mention, EDA Awards for Black Swan, issued in 2010 by this very group. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Martha Coolidge’s REAL GENIUS Anni Spotlights Static Stats, plus Emma Thompson, Thelma Schoonmaker and 25 Top Female Directors – Brandy McDonnell comments

MARTHA COOLIDGEThirty years after Martha Coolidge released Real Genius, she’s still a rarity in Hollywood: A female director. After making inroads in the 1980s and ’90s, women have lost ground in the entertainment industry over the past 20 years. Decider.com’s 25 female directors you should know. Emma Thompson speaks against Hollywood agism and sexism, DGA honors Thelma Schoonmaker and Sue Kroll at Warner Bros. Read on…>>

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JENNY’S WEDDING, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, THAT SUGAR FILM and Other July 31 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

jennys_wedding posterJenny’s Wedding stars Katherine Heigl in a satisfying same sex marriage romancedy. Mission Impossible Rogue Nation introduces Rebecca Ferguson into the pantheon of female action stars. That Sugar Film is a documentary that will make you think twice about indulging your sweet tooth. Plus The Kindergarden Teacher, Listen To Me Marlon, Best of Enemies and A LEGO Bricumentary. Read the reviews…

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