MARINA ANTUNES is the Editor-in-Chief of Quiet Earth and co-hosts the Before The Dawn podcast. Vancouver-based, she has written about film since 2005. She’s a member of AWFJ’s Team #MOTW.

  Female Film Critics 24/365  recent blog posts

Sydney FF 2019: DARK PLACE – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Dark Place saves the best of its anthology of five horror shorts till last and excels with Kodie Bedford’s unforgettable, electrifying Scout. If every horror anthology contains one short you wish was a feature, this is it; despite being a newcomer to directing, Bedford directs action like an old-hand, and the way she combines familiar genre thrills with inescapable and at times explicit political agenda about the exploitation and abuse of Indigenous Australian women by white men is nothing less than masterful.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Odessa Film Fest Honors Catherine Deneuve – Brandy McDonnell reports

French film icon Catherine Deneuve will collect the Golden Duke, a lifetime achievement award at Odessa International Film Festival. Scheduled for July 12-20, the festival will include a retrospective of films Deneuve has starred in over her more than 60-year career.

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MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL – Review by Susan Granger

Years ago, Will Smith used to brag that he (via his movies) “owned” the Fourth of July. No more! Without charismatic Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, this reboot is like a firecracker that barely fizzles.

The stand-alone story revolves around Molly (Tessa Thompson), a young Brooklyn woman whose love for Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and childhood memories of her parents being neuralyzed by MIB after seeing an alien has given her insight into what’s invisible to most Earthlings.

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Cross The Devil Wears Prada with 30 Rock, and you might get something like Late Night, director Nisha Ganatra’s timely comedy about a starry-eyed young comedy writer named Molly (Mindy Kaling) who gets the chance of a lifetime when she’s hired to work for iconic late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson). Written by Kaling, the movie mixes behind-the-scenes showbiz humor with smart observations about what it’s really like for women to break down barriers.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Mary J. Blige to Receive BET’S Lifetime Achievement Award -Brandy McDonnell reports

Actor/singer Mary J. Blige will be honored with the prestigious lifetime achievement award during the 2019 BET Awards. As a recording artist, Blige has earned Grammy Awards and 32 total nominations and has notched eight multi-platinum albums. The New York native is also an established actress who has garnered two Golden Globe Award nominations and one Screen Actors Guild Award nod.

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SYDNEY FF 2019: ANIMALS – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Bursting into the national consciousness with her smash 2013 debut feature 52 Tuesdays, Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde has gone decidedly international in her vision with her much-anticipated sophomore effort, the international co-production Animals. Starring Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat, the two women play best friends and flatmates Laura and Tyler whose down-and-dirty carefree bacchanalia of their twenties suddenly begins to fade when faced with expectations of transitioning to the world of so-called ‘adult’ responsibility.

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THREE PEAKS – Review by Jennifer Merin

German director Jan Zabeil’s beautifully crafted sophomore narrative feature, Three Peaks, is a truly disturbing film. It’s a horror story without gimmicks, ghosts, ghouls or goblins. There is no paranormality. In fact, the story revolves around a very normal modern threesome — two adults and a child — who take a family vacation in a relatively isolated cabin in a beautiful and pristine mountain setting.

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HEAD COUNT – Review by Liz Whittemore

This script by director Elle Callahan and Michael Nadar is something special. Right off the bat, I noticed nods to It Follows, one of the most unique genre films in a long time. But once Head Count’s weirdness takes full hold, you’ll find it’s completely its own creation. You will be just as spooked/confounded as the characters.

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