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 October 30, 2020 – US KIDS

If there’s any upside to the turmoil and tragedy that the United States — and the world — has been experiencing in recent years, it’s the fact that it’s shaping and motivating a powerful surge of youth activism. While it’s certainly not fair for society to look to teenagers to solve problems caused by generations of adults, there’s no denying the passion, drive, and ingenuity of change-makers like Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and the Parkland shooting survivors. Filmmaker Kim A. Snyder introduces us to several of the latter in her moving documentary Us Kids.

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MY OCTOPUS TEACHER – Review by Diane Carson

The lovely, surprising documentary My Octopus Teacher features, as the film title accurately states, a wild octopus that educates the central character, Craig Foster. He becomes enlightened and enriched regarding the multiple ways a partnership with nature, this one octopus in particular, benefits an individual. As astonishing as it is heartwarming, Foster generously shares an incredible journey.

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COMING HOME AGAIN – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Some movies are so quiet and slow and intimate, you don’t realize their impact on you until long after the credits have rolled. Coming Home Again is one of those rare films. Wayne Wang has taken Chang-rae Lee’s lovely essay in The New Yorker about caring for his dying mother, and turned the figures in the narrative into flesh and bone human beings.

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NOMADLAND – Review by Leslie Combemale

the film examines the phenomenon of travelers going across the country in search of work, through the lens of a widow named Fern (McDormand), who lives in her van. Other than co-star David Strathairn, who plays a fellow nomad, the secondary characters are played by real people on the nomad community. McDormand, Zhao, and crew members lived out of vans during production. The result is a film that is beautiful and sad and unique. It will blow you away. 

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Regina King builds Oscar buzz for ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – Brandy McDonnell reports

Amazon Studios has set a release date for Oscar and Emmy winner Regina King’s feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami, which has already earned widespread acclaim and Oscar buzz on the festival circuit. The celebrated film will open in select theaters on Dec. 25, followed by a global launch on Jan. 15, exclusively on Prime Video.

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IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – Review by Carol Cling

The new documentary, from director Carolyn Jones focuses on seven emergency nurses in disparate hospitals — from Dallas, Texas, to Dubuque, Iowa, from Lexington, Ky., to Paterson, N.J. “We put Band-Aids on a lot of the big issues we can’t fix,” says one. And, as big issues go, COVID-19 emerges as the one that plunges these ready-for-anything professionals into a different kind of trauma.

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BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM – Review by Martha K Baker

Sacha Baron Cohen, a satirist in the classic tradition, does not raise laughter so much as he raises goosebumps by being outrageous and atrocious while straddling the truth. His satire stands on the shoulders of Jonathan Swift, the 17th-century Irishman, who knew a modest proposal when he wrote one. Baron Cohen has written another. And it bites immodestly.

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THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 – Review by Susan Granger

Best known for his sharp, perceptive dialogue, peppered with succinct soliloquies, writer/director Aaron Sorkin has crafted a timely, yet talky tale, utilizing flashbacks and newsreel footage. Free speech and demonstration are interpreted as lawless rioting with the government and its supporters expressing complete faith in the police. Perhaps Sasha Baron-Cohen’s Abbie Hoffman puts it best: “The institutions of government are wonderful things, but right now are populated by some terrible people.”

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Luis Manuel and John James on SIEMPRE LUIS, Activism and Lin Manuel Miranda – Jeanne Wolf interviews

Luis Manuel is a well-known Latin activist, an unstoppable force of change. Mid-way through his busy life in art and politics, one of his children produced a little show called Hamilton, and suddenly his name changed from Luis to ‘Lin Manuel Miranda’s Father.’ And, he didn’t mind at all.

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