BOOK CLUB — Review by Martha K. Baker

Fears that Book Club would make mock of women over 65 fade to boredom. Book Club is not so embarrassing in making eldresses look like banshees without brains as it is banal. Wine will be swilled and truths will be flayed as viewers check their watches like a conductor at a royal wedding. The cast of long-lived actors should have produced better acting. However, the quartet of leading ladies between the ages of 65 and 80 works on the surface, barely plumbing into the sincerity of real women these ages.

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BOOK CLUB — Review by Sarah Knight Adamson

This wildly comical, smart film shows older female characters taking risks in order to find their voices; thus unleashing dormant mindsets. In Hollywood’s blatantly under-served market, the ‘star power female foursome’ of Bergen, Fonda, Keaton, and Steenburgen are a fresh respite; these seasoned actors could all go toe to toe with the Sex and the City girls. The film gives encouraging notice to the younger crowd of what the third act in life should look like, by providing an understanding that life isn’t over just because you’re a certain age.

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BOOK CLUB — Review by Susan Granger

Because advertising and trailers can be deceptive, part of a movie critic’s job is to steer audiences to films they may enjoy. This poignant rom-com is directly aimed at older adults – and the matinee audience with whom I viewed it burst into spontaneous applause at the conclusion. In suburban Santa Monica, four lifelong friends meet regularly to sip wine, nibble canapes and discuss their lives as they relate to the chosen book they’re all reading. Years ago, they began with Erica Jong’s “Fear of Flying,” and now they’re into the purple prose of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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THE GREEN BOOK – Review by Susan Granger

This fascinating, true story of an unlikely friendship begins with Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), an elegant, educated Jamaican-American classical pianist who lived in an apartment above Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall. In 1962 when his record company sends him on a concert tour of the Deep South, Dr. Shirley hires a gruff, gluttonous, street-wise bouncer from the Copacabana nightclub to be his driver/road manager.

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GREEN BOOK – Review by Mae Abdulbaki

Peter Farrelly, whose filmography consists of mostly comedies such as There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber, takes on a different kind of film with Green Book. Co-written by Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, and Brian Hayes Currie, the film downplays Mahershala Ali’s character and backstory, focuses too much on Tony’s perspective, and is far too familiar of a story in all the negative ways.

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Katie Aselton on MACK & RITA, Diane Keaton and Collaboration – Nell Minow interviews

Katie Aselton is the director of the body-switching comedy Mack & Rita, about a 30-year-old who wishes she was 70 and is somehow transformed into Diane Keaton. In an interview she talked about how old she feels, directing Keaton (who played her mother in the film, Book Club), and why her favorite part of making movies is collaboration.

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Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Nell Minow comments

My feminist point of view is reflected in my standards for female characters. For example, the dreadful Book Club starred four of Hollywood’s greatest actresses playing characters of significant professional achievement and yet still didn’t pass the Bechdel test. It is also reflected in the way I write about female filmmakers, as for example, Band-Aid, a film made with an all-female crew.

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