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 25, 2019: SERENDIPITY

Thoughtful, contemplative, and deeply personal, French artist Prune Nourry’s documentary “Serendipity” is an intimate glimpse inside the mind of a woman coping with the unexpected. Blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis at age 31, Nourry channels her anger and fear over her health into art, documenting her treatment, her feelings, and the profound changes her body goes through.

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MISS VIRGINIA – Review by Carol Cling

Just because a movie’s based on a true story doesn’t mean it’s entirely truthful. That’s certainly true of Miss Virginia, a fact-based drama about a single mother who turns community activist to save her son — and, by extension, other sons and daughters — from the mean streets of turn-of-the-millennium Washington, D.C.

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WHERE’S MY ROY COHEN – Review by Martha K Baker

Where’s My Roy Cohn? presents Trump’s origin story. Most people have heard of Roy Cohn. Most people know to link his name with Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s. Most people even know to modify Cohn’s name with “evil” and “mendacious” as well as “arrogant” and “Satanic.” But few know now why those adjectives apply to Donald Trump’s role model.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Rachel Emerson on the Making and Meaning of MAVEN VOYAGE – Jennifer Merin interviews

Rachel Emerson’s Maven Voyage, one of twenty short films selected to compete for the $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize, was shot in Shreveport, per submission requirements. Emerson won the fest’s $1,000 best actress award and a $3,000 Founders Circle Award to seed her next project. She comments on the making and meaning of her film, an engaging scifi adventure about a gal (Emerson) who wants to join the first manned mission to Mars.

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MALEFICENT MISTRESS OF EVIL – Review by Lana Wilson-Combs

Angelina Jolie shines in the dark and enchanting Disney, fantasy adventure Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Directed by Joachim Rønning from a script by Linda Woolverton, Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, this follow-up to the 2014 blockbuster Maleficent is a spirited revenge thriller.

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THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

The Great Alaskan Race is a commendable passion project from filmmaker Brian Presley, a film dedicated to the “unsung heroes” who helped save the Alaskan city of Nome from a diphtheria outbreak in the early 20th century. The mushers and dog teams that transported diphtheria vaccine 700 miles from Anchorage to Nome are given the hero treatment here, and they certainly deserve praise—but this movie is so superficially constructed that it’s impossible to feel empathy for the characters.

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FOCUS ON FEMALE FILMMAKERS AT 2019 LONDON KOREAN FILM FEST – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

The 2019 festival turns towards the role of women in both Korean cinema specifically and representations in Korean culture more broadly in two ways; firstly across a variety of other program streams including Cinema Now and focuses on documentary, shorts and animations, and perhaps of more immediate, the Women’s Voices strand that highlights the best of women-made Korean cinema at the current moment.

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Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble on THE ELEPHANT QUEEN – Sandie Angulo Chen interviews

Award-winning wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s latest nature documentary, The Elephant Queen, is Apple’s first theatrical release. The married filmmakers have spent more than 30 years living and working in East Africa, and The Elephant Queen is the culmination of a 10-year-dream and four-year labor of love. Stone calls the film an homage to female power and wisdom. It is the story of Athena, a 50-year-old elephant matriarch, and her herd of females and juveniles.

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BETHANY HAMILTON: UNSTOPPABLE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

There aren’t anywhere near enough movies about thrill-seeking women, which makes this documentary about professional surfer Bethany Hamilton very welcome. Aggressive, competitive, and driven, Hamilton has been a powerful role model for girls and women — and for boys and grown men, too — not least because she bounced back from a horrific injury that should have ended her career before it even started.

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ADJANI RETROSPECTIVE AT AUSTRALIAN ALLIANCE FRANCAISE CLASSIC FILM FEST – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

With a filmography of the calibre of Adjani’s, the cliché of ‘breaking into Hollywood’ seems almost too obvious; no one has won more Cesar awards for Best Actress even today, and when she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in François Truffaut;s The Story of Adele H., she was the youngest person at the time ever nominated for a Best Actress award. Adding to this the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneu she was awarded in 2010, one can’t help but wonder if she ever needed America at all.

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