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 July 17, 2020: JOHN LEWIS – GOOD TROUBLE

“It’s because of you, John.” That was the short, powerful note that President Barack Obama wrote to Congressman John Lewis on Obama’s first inauguration day, and director Dawn Porter’s moving documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble shows us exactly how right the president was. The film chronicles the highs and lows of Lewis’ life and career, set into the political and historical context of the 1960s to the present day.

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Dawn Porter on JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE – Leslie Combemale interviews

For John Lewis: Good Trouble, documentarian Dawn Porter followed the Georgia congressman for over a year. The result is a film that centers on the power of personal conviction, and the importance for individuals to take a stand. In our interview, Porter spoke about why John Lewis is both an icon and a real, thinking man of both his time, and for all time.

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AI WEIWEI: YOURS TRULY – Review by Carol Cling

This portrait of the famous freedom-fighting artist and activist centers on Ai’s @Large, an expansive exhibition — at San Francisco’s notorious Alcatraz Island — that attracted more than 900,000 people during its 2014-15 run. Unfortunately, the artist himself wasn’t one of them. At the time, the Chinese government had taken away his passport.

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FRANCES FERGUSON – Review by Sarah Ward

There’s nothing inherently funny about Frances Ferguson’s central concept: an affair between a teacher and a high-school student that scandalizes a small Nebraska town. But, as told from the eponymous educator’s perspective, there’s something intriguing about Bob Byington’s latest darkly comic film — which uses its premise to chart a self-sabotaging quest of considerable proportions.

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RELIC – Review by Lana Wilson-Combs

With Relic, director/screenwriter Natalie Erika James has crafted a taut horror flick that incorporates aging and dementia into its storyline. The clever use of music and lighting in the film, particularly those long shots of the dimly lit hallways in that creaky old house, really ramp up the fear factor and provides several well-earned jump scares

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THE SUNLIT NIGHT – Review by Liz Braun

The Sunlit Night, a slight romantic comedy saturated in whimsy, has its moments — all of them courtesy Jenny Slate, playing a struggling artist trying to find herself in a remote corner of Norway. Director David Wnendt seems to have organized all the right bits and pieces but something happened in the process of putting them all together.

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Elizabeth Banks’ Live Action on THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS – Brandy McDonnell reports

Elizabeth Banks is jumping on board Universal’s live-action adaptation of The Magic School Bus, and she will produce the movie as well as star as adventurous teacher Ms. Frizzle. Ryan Christians from Marc Platt Productions will oversee production with Sara Scott and Lexi Barta from Universal Pictures.

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OLYMPIA – Review by April Neale

This bittersweet glimpse of her remarkable life allows Olympia Dukakis the freedom to flex the very muscles that catapulted her to fame. With no compunction, she openly discusses her obstacles, triumphs and regrets, and dishes about her collective career and personal experiences. She’s an octogenarian, and she’s still going strong.

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ATHLETE A – Review by Martha K Baker

Tension defines this terrific documentary about the sexual and emotional abuse rampant in Olympic gymnastics. Tension abounds among the female women gymnasts, eager for fun and medals. Tension also defines the efforts by investigative reporters at the Indianapolis Star, who uncovered the whole story two years ago.

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