is Exec Editor of Common Sense, where she also reviews films. Her commentaries are on Reel.com and Hollywood.com. She’s lead writer for AWFJ’s #MOTW

  Female Film Critics 24/365  recent blog posts

2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

The official announcement of nonfiction nominees for the Third Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA) kicks off this year’s race for nonfic recognition, and what a race it is. Throughout the year, documentary production and distribution have soared, making 2018 the year of trending nonfiction. This year, more than 300 qualifying documentaries were submitted for consideration by the CCDA nominating committees.

Read more

FREE SOLO – Review by Diane Carson

Free Solo is breathtaking and terrifying. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary Free Solo profiles Alex Honnold, the climber who admits often considering free climbing El Capitan, Earth’s most impressive, 3200-foot granite wall. But, as Alex repeatedly said to himself, “That’s just too scary.” Nevertheless, he knew he had to attempt it, insane as the idea is because there is zero margin for error.

Read more

FIRST MAN – Review by Susan Granger

Based on James R. Hansen’s First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong (2005), the film is adapted as a docudrama by Josh Singer and cinematographer Linus Sandgren, focusing on Apollo 11, America’s first successful manned mission to the moon, making good on Pres. John K. Kennedy’s vision for the future and “a giant leap for mankind.”

Read more

JULY 22 – Review by Diane Carson

July 22 honors Norway’s strength and heart. Writer/director Paul Greengrass has demonstrated his talent for boldly dramatizing sensitive subjects. In July 22, he takes on the worst terrorist attack in Norway’s history. The massacre on Utoya Island — where dozens of teenagers were attending a Labor Party Camp — left seventy-seven people dead and dozens injured.

Read more

TIFF18 Review: DIAMANTINO – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

With its North American premiere at the Midnight Madness program of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, there is little that can prepare you for the unique, twisted majesty of queer Portuguese film Diamantino. Co-directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, this is an unapologetic carnival of bad taste all but destined for cult film longevity.

Read more

WEEK IN WOMEN: Catherine Hardwicke says ‘there’s still a lot of work to do’ to bring gender parity to Hollywood – Brandy McDonnell reports

A decade after Catherine Hardwicke shattered records for female directors with the global success of the fantasy franchise-launching romantic drama “Twilight,” the director says there’s still not enough women working behind the camera. “we’ve got to get more representation in all the categories,” Hardwicke commented at the 45th Student Academy Awards ceremony at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Read more

Filmmaker Dianne Dreyer talks CHANGE IN THE AIR – Nell Minow interviews

Dianne Dreyer is a first-time director but an experienced filmmaker. Her new film is the delicate, touching Change in the Air, starring Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan. Dreyer has 56 IMDB previous credits as “miscellaneous crew,” and her jobs on movies have ranged from script supervisor to co-producer, In an interview, Dreyer speaks about what she learned on movie sets, about creating one of the most extraordinary images in any film this year, and why even in the digital age old-fashioned letters on paper still matter,

Read more

TEA WITH THE DAMES – Review by Martha K Baker

In the midst of movies that call for blood, curses, and mayhem, “em>Tea with the Dames offers those ingredients elegantly and eloquently from dames of the British realm who are also stars of stage and screen. At tea are Dame and Lady Joan Plowright, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, and Dame Eileen Atkins.Tea with the Dames is literate, funny, poignant, a respite and a reminder. Utterly delicious, this tea with Champagne with the Dames.

Read more