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AWFJ Presents: ANTONIA’S LINE – Review by Leslie Combemale

With Antonia’s Line, writer/director Marleen Gorris created a film that is a celebration of life and an unflinching look at the challenges intergenerational women faced throughout the 20th century. The feminist filmmaker achieved what many great female directors before her could not: Antonia’s Line (1994) is the first foreign-language film by a female filmmaker to win an Oscar. That’s almost 40 years after the introduction of the foreign language category. Given the Oscars’ rather spotty history in terms of truly rewarding the best films, the question is, “Is Antonia’s Line really that good?” The answer is a resounding yes.

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ELVIS – Review by T.J. Callahan

Elvis is a sensational spectacle meant for the big screen. Even with a runtime of 2 1/2 hours, Luhrmann flashes Presley’s life before our eyes. He keeps things moving as fast as Elvis’ pelvis. Elvis Aaron Presley was unique and irreplaceable and this film shows us why, warts and all. It’s not always good to be The King.

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MR. MALCOLM’S LIST – Review by Carol Cling

It is a truth universally acknowledged — at least among those who revere the literary works of Jane Austen — that there can never be too many Regency-era romances, or cinematic adaptations of same. A new version of Persuasion is coming soon to a streaming service near you, but if you can’t wait to get lost in Austenland, Mr. Malcolm’s List should satisfy your expectations. The title character’s focus is on finding someone who meets his prerequisites — and his inevitable discovery that prerequisites have nothing to do with true love.

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100 DAYS WITH TATA – Review by Jennifer Green

Shot during the Covid19 quarantine, 100 Days with Tata is Spanish director/actor Miguel Angel Muñoza’s heartwarming documentary love letter to Luisa Cantero, his 95-year-old great-aunt who never married, worked as a cleaning lady, and took care of him, her sister’s great-grandchild, as if he were her own son.

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Miguel Angel Muñoz on documenting life with TATA – Jennifer Green interviews

100 Days with Tata, the documentary that Spanish actor/director Miguel Angel Muñoz crafted out a year spent in Covid19 quarantine with his great aunt, Luisa Cantero, the titular Tata, is a testament to the power of love, the difficulty of aging, the reality of death and the importance of family.

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UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN – Review by Martha K Baker

The extremely intense, seven-episode mini-series centers on the 1984 murders of a mother and child, killed within the closed wold of the Mormons. Director/co-writer, Duston Lance Black folds into the narrative concepts of polygamy, blood atonement, evil, misogyny, and racism. He also fiddled all the pieces of this puzzle into a well-seamed production.

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WE OWN THIS CITY – Review by Diane Carson

Fans of The Wire know the hard-hitting, confrontational social critiques delivered by its creators, George Pelecanos and David Simon. They’ve lost none of their gritty, scathing indictment of dysfunctional communities as proved by the six episode series, We Own This City. Based on real events, to our shocking dismay, sequences immerse us in Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Anna Fishko is on ORPHAN BLACK: ECHOES for AMC – Brandy McDonnell reports

AMC Networks is working on Orphan Black: Echoes, a long-awaited new series set in the world of the landmark series Orphan Black, to appear on AMC+ and the company’s linear networks in 2023. Anna Fishko (Pieces of Her, The Society, Fear the Walking Dead) is creator, writer, showrunner and executive producer with John Fawcett, the co-creator of the original series who also directed 17 episodes across all five seasons, on as director and executive producer.

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by Susan Granger

Jurassic World: Dominion marks the return of the human characters who propelled previous sequels. Problem is: as a result of frenzied storylines, numerous gargantuan species and too many bumbling characters, there’s no emotional connection. And when two savage CGI apex predators finally grapple, it’s over a puny deer carcass. Perhaps this cautionary tale heralds the extinction of the once-beloved Jurassic franchise.

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THE BLACK PHONE – Review by T. J. Callahan

Set in 1978 Denver, an abducted teenager uses an unplugged wall phone in a sound proof basement crypt to communicate with a sadistic killer’s previous victims in hopes of saving his own life. The Black Phone is a perplexing puzzle that won’t leave you hanging…up. It won’t necessarily have you on the edge of your seat either, but that’s only because The Black Phone is more creepy than it is frightening. It’s more like watching a crime drama with jump scares.

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