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Washington DC-based LESLIE COMBEMALE writes as Cinema Siren on her own and other websites. She hosts the influential “Women Rocking Hollywood” panel at San Diego Comic-Con.

  Female Film Critics 24/365  recent blog posts


If you consider the study of history to be a route towards informed interpretation of the present, Oren Rudavsky’s Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People is essential and timely viewing. The film is an investigative biodoc about the legendary publisher who changed the face and flow of modern journalism, and rewrote the rule book on using newspapers — the prime media outlet during his life time — to influence the political, social and economic milieu at the heart of the American Dream.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Producer Darla Anderson Inks Netflix Deal – Brandy McDonnell reports

Netflix has entered into a multi-year overall deal with Darla K. Anderson, the Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and BAFTA-winning producer of Disney/Pixar hits like Coco, Cars and Toy Story 3. At Netflix, Anderson will develop and produce new animated and live action projects, both feature films and series, for family audiences around the world.

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COLD PURSUIT – Review by Susan Granger

Adapted from In Order of Disappearance the 2014 Norwegian thriller, Cold Pursuit stars Liam Neeson as a stoic snowplow driver seeking justice for the murder of his son during a drug deal gone bad.

But when his son Kyle (Micheal Richardson), a baggage handler at the local airport, is killed by drug-smugglers, his death is blamed on a heroin overdose. (FYI: Micheal is Neeson’s real-life son with the late Natasha Richardson.)

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Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates five short films for the Best Animation Oscar. This year’s compilation offers diversity. From hand drawn to computer animation, with everything from muted to vibrant colors, realistic to surreal scenes, these five Oscar nominees testify to the wide range of subjects and styles gracing animation.

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THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART – Review by Brandy McDonnell

For fans who have waited through five years and two spinoffs to find out what happened after aliens made of Duplo blocks landed in Bricksburg and declared “we are here to destwoy you,” the sequel picks up right where the first film left off and quickly constructs a whole new universe of possibilities.

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What’s Up Down Under? THE WHEEL Spins New Sci-Fi Terrain – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

In Australia, Dee McLachlan’s The Wheel, filmed primarily at Melbourne’s Dockland Studios, takes the director of 2007’s acclaimed movie about human trafficking The Jammed to new territory, McLachlan turning her attention away from the gritty Melbourne streets to the potential dramatic potential of a films set in a tech-heavy, militarized dystopian future.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Melissa McCarthy to receive Distinguished Artisan Award – Brandy McDonnell reports

Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy will receive the Distinguished Artisan Award at the Sixth Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706) celebrating her prolific acting career and the plethora of characters she embraces. McCarthy is the first female artist to receive the award.

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motw logo 1-35A passionate exploration of the nature of motherhood, daughterhood, and connection, Laura Bispuri’s Daughter of Mine has a raw, naturalistic feel that makes its characters and their choices seem very real. Viewers are plunged right into the world of two Italian women who both lay claim to a young girl who finds herself torn between them.

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Deborah Davis talks THE FAVOURITE, Rivalries and the Future – Gill Pringle interviews (Exclusive)

If J K Rowling is frequently held up as a model of persistence – her original Harry Potter manuscript initially rejected by 12 publishers – then The Favourite screenwriter Deborah Davis surely holds a place up there, her own screenplay taking a staggering 20 years before becoming a fully-realized movie. That delayed gratification has made her accomplishment all the more sweet, today nominated for best original screenplay Oscar and BAFTAs.

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