ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

Amazingly, Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not emerge, fully formed and clad in judges robes, from the ocean of awesomeness. “On the Basis of Sex” highlights her time in the fire that forged her into the woman she is now. While all fans of the Notorious RBG will enjoy seeing the beginning of her superheroic quest, what may be more valuable to younger viewers is how systemic discrimination was — and how recently sexism was coded into law. “On the Basis of Sex” is a valuable movie about one of America’s most valuable resources.

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Filmmaker Margaret Betts on NOVITIATE — Interview by Kristen Page-Kirby

Novitiate” is a love story about a girl in a relationship with a guy who just doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to her. It’s a fairly typical tale, except the girl is a 17-year-old nun in training and the guy is God. In the drama, opening Friday, Cathleen (played by Margaret Qualley) enters the (fictional) convent of the Sisters of Blessed Rose in 1964. She begins her journey toward becoming a nun with a one-year stint as a postulant, getting used to the daily routine of the convent.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE — Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

“Justice League” shares many of the problems that have cropped up in DC Comics films — a thinly written villain, a criminal underuse of both Amy Adams and Lois Lane, LOUD NOISES, (presumably) Zack Snyder shooting Gal Gadot like she’s on a late-night Cinemax show. And it’s terribly uneven; Joss Whedon was brought in to complete the film, and Whedon and Snyder aren’t exactly the chocolate and peanut butter of cinematic styles. Its fundamental flaw, though, lies at its moral center.

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BRIMSTONE & GLORY — Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

The feature debut of director Viktor Jakovleski, the film “Brimstone & Glory” looks at the city of Tultepec, the so-called fireworks capital of Mexico, during the National Pyrotechnic Festival. That celebration — essentially the city’s high holy days — has its roots in the festival of St. John of God, patron saint of fireworkmakers and (coincidentally) firefighters.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 21, 2019: THE BRINK

It’s no exaggeration to say that Steve Bannon quickly became one of the most reviled figures in Donald Trump’s inner circle during the 2016 election and the early days of Trump’s presidency. Cagey and clever, Bannon never seemed to make a move that wasn’t completely calculated. So you have to wonder what his motivation was to allow filmmaker Alison Klayman and her cameras into his life to film The Brink, an intimate documentary that follows Bannon from 2017 through the historic 2018 midterm elections.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 15, 2019: ROLL RED ROLL

Following the infamous 2012 case in Steubenville, Ohio, in which two teen boys who were local highschool football heroes assaulted and raped an intoxicated female classmate, Nancy Schwartzman’s compelling documentary, Roll Red Roll, crystalizes the danger of supporting a “boys will be boys” mentality.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 8, 2019: 3 FACES

The life of an actress isn’t always an easy one — even more so in a country like Iran, where traditional currents run strong and “following your dreams” isn’t so simple for any woman, let alone a woman who wants to take to the stage. In his latest uniquely crafted film, Jafar Panahi again defies the Iranian government’s ban on his film production to explore themes of dreams vs family and social obligations. 3 Faces, a compelling drama about craft and connection.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 1, 2018: SAINT JUDY

SAINT JUDY is director Sean Hanish’s fact-based drama about immigration attorney Judy Wood (Michelle Monaghan), whose tenacity, empathy, and intelligence

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 22, 2019: WOMAN AT WAR

motw logo 1-35Having a fearless, independent, complicated middle-aged woman at the center of this original comedy/drama is reason enough to distinguish the Icelandic film Woman at War. That director Benedikt Erlingsson, working from a script he wrote with Ólafur Egill Egilsson, has managed to make a film about environmental activism in the Icelandic countryside that’s fresh, quirky and compelling is an added bonus.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 15, 2019: DAUGHTER OF MINE

motw logo 1-35A passionate exploration of the nature of motherhood, daughterhood, and connection, Laura Bispuri’s Daughter of Mine has a raw, naturalistic feel that makes its characters and their choices seem very real. Viewers are plunged right into the world of two Italian women who both lay claim to a young girl who finds herself torn between them.

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