LIZ WHITTEMORE helms ReelNewsDaily.com, hosts Girls On Film Podcast, blogs horror at I SCREAM YOU SCREAM, serves as a member of Team #MOTW and as an AWFJ Board Member.

  Female Film Critics 24/365  recent blog posts

MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 15, 2019: ATLANTICS

Dreamy and full of unexpected twists, Mati Diop’s narrative debut Atlantics — Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival — is simultaneously a tender tale of star-crossed lovers, an eerie ghost story, and a gritty procedural. That unusual combination keeps it surprising and engaging throughout and underlines writer/director Diop’s notable talent.

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MICKEY AND THE BEAR – Review by Carol Cling

There are times when this coming-of-age drama — about an often-overwhelmed teen struggling to deal with her father, a troubled Iraq War veteran — plays like an inadvertent variation on 2018’s powerful Leave No Trace. Yet this feature debut from writer-director Annabelle Attanasio, fresh from the festival circuit, overcomes a somewhat derivative storyline to forge its own strong identity.

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JOJO RABBIT – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Set in Germany during the waning days of WWII, the New Zealand filmmaker’s adaptation of Christine Leunen’s novel “Caging Skies” follows 10-year-old Jojo (wonderful newcomer Roman Griffin Davis), a new Hitler Youth recruit who so fancies himself a Nazi zealot that his imaginary friend is a clownish version of Adolf Hitler (Waititi, brilliantly eccentric).

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THE ETRUSCAN SMILE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

Some lessons about life never change: do what you love, surrounded by people you love, before it’s too late. That’s a simple but reassuring series of messages that are the through line for the sometimes satisfying but fundamentally patronizing The Etruscan Smile, director Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis’s adaptation of the bestselling 1985 novel La Sonrisa Etrusca.

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Whistler Film Festival: 2019 EDA Award Nominees and AWFJ Juries – Jennifer Merin reports

For the seventh consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has had the honor to partner with Whistler Film Festival to recognize women filmmakers with presentation of EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Feature Film and Best Female-Directed Short at the 2019 festival, held in Whistler from December 4 to 8, 2019.

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Vancouver International Film Festival 2019 Wrap – Marina Antunes reports

The 38th annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) may have wrapped its final screenings over a month ago, but the city is still basking in the post-festival glow thanks to the success of this year’s festival. VIFF has been expanding beyond film screenings for years and in 2019, organizers truly expanded the frame and in addition to over 320 films, the festival presented a number of live performances, master classes and industry-based conferences.

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Filmmaker Alma Har’el on Shia LeBeouf and the Truth of HONEY BOY – Sarah Knight Adams interviews

Honey Boy, her first narrative feature film, premiered in the dramatic competition at Sundance 2019, where Alma Har’el won the Special Jury Award for Vision and Craft. Honey Boy is based on the volatile upbringing of actor Shia LeBeouf, who wrote the script during his ordered re-hab stay. He reached out to Har’el and asked her to direct the feature film about his life, with him playing the character based on his father, a rodeo-clown, haunted with regrets.

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