AWFJ Movie of the Week, Aug. 25-31: THE CONGRESS

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The CongressOpening Aug. 29, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Congress, from visionary writer-director Ari Folman, whose 2008 animated film Waltz with Bashir was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. The Congress, based on Solaris author Stainslav Lem’s The Futurological Congress, combines live action and animation to present a unique premise set in a world in the not-too-distant future. It stars Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston, Paul Giamatti, and Jon Hamm. Wright, playing a version of herself, accepts a deal brokered by her loyal, longtime agent (Keitel) whereby her digital image will be controlled by one studio for use in any films of their choice, in perpetuity. The compensation allows her to care for her ailing son, but her decision has unforeseen consequences. Read on…

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Anne Brodie: The Congress is an effective and original thriller, the latest in the current dystopian future trend. Robin Wright plays a version of “herself” as a Hollywood actress who gives the studio her “image” in perpetuity so that she can always appear young and beautiful in CGI films. The negative ripple effect is devastating and hers becomes a cautionary tale.

Kristy Puchko: The Congess is groundbreaking and breathtaking.

MaryAnn Johanson: My pick is The Congress, a mind-bending extrapolation of the future of entertainment, and a striking commentary on how Hollywood treats women right now. Read more>>>

Jeanne Wolf: The Congress is so unique and Robin Wright’s performance is so brave…it’s a must see film. Read more>>>

Jennifer Merin: Ari Folman’s engaging and provocative conceit, his integration of live action and animation, and his storytelling skills are uniquely and utterly compelling. Wright’s refined live and motion capture performance is completely captivating. Read more>>

Nell Minow: The Congress doesn’t look like anything else. Plus, I have a soft spot for movies that play with the fourth wall.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Rebecca Murray, Kristy Puchko, Carrie Rickey, Sheila Roberts, Jeanne Wolf, Sara Vizcarrando.

Other Movies Opening the Week of Aug. 25-29, 2014:

August 27
– The November Man
– Starred Up (limited)
– Through a Lens Darkly (limited)

August 29
– As Above, So Below
– The Calling (limited)
– Canopy (NY)
– The Congress (LA; NY release: September 5)
– Innocence (limited)
– The Last of Robin Hood (limited)
– Life of Crime (limited)
– The Notebook (2014) (limited)


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Sandra Kraisirideja (Archived Contributor) was started by entertainment journalist Sandra Kraisirideja, an accredited member of the Motion Picture Association of America. A 16-year industry veteran, her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Today,,,, North County Times, East Hampton Star and Southampton News-Press. Ms. Kraisirideja is listed in the (MPAA) Domestic Press Directory for 2009.