MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 3, 2020: THE AUDITION

The old saying “still waters run deep” is an apt description of the main character in Ina Weisse’s intensely observed drama The Audition. Anna (Nina Hoss) is a wife, a mother, and a music teacher whose life might look calm and stable from the outside but whose inner life and conflicts threaten to boil over daily. Hoss’ magnetic performance will keep you invested in where Anna’s choices take her.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 26, 2020: MR. JONES

As if we need further proof that cries of “fake news” are desperate attempts of the complicit to deny their wrongdoing, Agnieszka Holland’s truth-based thriller Mr. Jones tells the stirring story of 1930s Welsh journalist Gareth Jones. He broke the story of the Holodomor, a massive engineered famine in Soviet-run Ukraine, only to have his claims declared false by those who sought to champion the Soviet Union’s communist revolution and form advantageous alliances with the powerful nation.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 19, 2020: MISS JUNETEENTH

In a time when too much of the world is very belatedly waking up to the significance of Juneteenth — the holiday marking the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Texas finally learned of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation — Channing Godfrey Peoples’ coming-of-age drama Miss Juneteenth offers a thoughtful, relevant glimpse inside Black life in Texas more than 150 years after that momentous day.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 12, 2020: BLACK STORIES MATTER

BLACK LIVES MATTER! The Alliance of Women Film Journalists stands united with all who are demanding an end to the systemic racism that permeates American policy and culture. BLACK STORIES MATTER! To understand the depth of the injustice experienced by our nation’s Black communities and other people of color, we must listen to their stories and embrace their truths. BLACK MOVIES MATTER! Films presenting stories that reflect Black perspectives, culture and lifestyle are essential, entertaining and enlightening vehicles that drive home the need for change — at breakneck speed.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 5, 2020: JUDY & PUNCH

Moody and revisionist, Mirrah Foulkes’ dark dramedy Judy & Punch speculates about the story behind the classic British puppet show. In the process, it ably explores the important and ageless themes of artistic talent, revenge, superstition, allyship, and domestic violence, all wrapped up in lush cinematography and lavish production design.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 29, 2020: KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL

Part Behind the Music episode, part intimate video diary, and part indictment of the way the music industry treats women, director Amy Goldstein’s Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl is a frank, endearing documentary about what it means to “make it.” It was filmed over the course of four and a half years, following rocker/actress Kate Nash as she figures out what comes after her big break — and the slump that followed it.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 22, 2020: LUCKY GRANDMA

It’s not often that a sharp-tongued, chain-smoking grandmother is the main character in a movie. Tsai Chin’s gutsy, riveting performance as the acerbic, chain-smoking titular character in Lucky Grandma, Sasie Sealy’s tight script and admirable direction, a stellar ensemble and a strong sense of place make the film a sure winner.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 15, 2020: SOUTH MOUNTAIN

Marriage, like life, is a complicated beast — and there often aren’t clear-cut answers and easy resolutions when things get messy. That compelling theme is the dynamic at the heart of Hilary Brougher’s intimate, poignant drama South Mountain, which follows Lila (Talia Balsam) over the course of a summer as her marriage crumbles and the world she knows shifts into new and discomforting directions.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 8, 2020: A SECRET LOVE

There may be no crying in baseball, but you’ll be hard pressed not to shed a tear or two while watching A Secret Love. Chris Bolan’s moving documentary details the 65-year relationship of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, which saw them through everything from traveling with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to the relief of coming out to family members in their 80s.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 1, 2020: BULL

Gritty and sometimes bleak, Annie Silverstein’s Bull is a haunting drama about 14-year-old Kris (Amber Havard), whose future looks about as bright as the dusty neighborhood she lives in on the outskirts of Houston. An unexpected connection offers her a glimpse at new possibilities, but is it enough to permanently change her trajectory?

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