AWFJ Movie of the Week, May 18-24: TOMORROWLAND

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Opening May 22, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Tomorrowlandthe new summer family blockbuster from Disney and director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), who co-writes with Damon Lindelof (Prometheus, World War Z) and newcomer Jeff Jensen. Inspired by the ever-popular Tomorrowland segment of Disney’s theme parks, the story follows teen science geek Casey (Britt Robertson, TV’s Under the Dome) as she discovers the existence of a secret, futuristic world hidden in the midst of time and space that may hold the fate of humankind. Teaming up with mysterious Tomorrowland inhabitant Athena (Raffey Cassidy, TV’s Mr Selfridge)  and former boy genius turned miserable grown up Frank (George Clooney), Casey must draw on all her knowledge, ambition and positivity if she is to realize her full potential and make a real change.

Driven predominantly by two young female protagonists – while Clooney may have top billing, he is most certainly the supporting act – Tomorrowland marks something of a sea change when it comes to its gender dynamics. To see girls being given the freedom to not only be the hero, but also have a detailed knowledge of and passion for science and engineering, know how to throw a punch and use their intelligence and ingenuity to save the world is a truly wonderful thing. Casey and Athena are truly characters to inspire, and young stars Robertson and Cassidy play them with a charm and wit that should see the film appeal to all ages. That it’s also hugely entertaining, and visually stunning, is just the icing on the cake.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Nell Minow: Tomorrowland looks like the family movie of the summer, wildly imaginative and lots of heart.

Anne Brodie: Tomorrowland wins my vote – a smarter than average science fiction thriller that poses metaphysical questions and wins.

MaryAnn Johanson: My pick is Tomorrowland. A girl gets to have an adventure! Read review.

Leba Hertz: I’ll go with Tomorrowland– reminds me of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York

Film Details:

Title: Tomorrowland
Director: Brad Bird
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Running Time:  130 minutes
Language: English
Shooting Location(s): Valencia, Spain; Vancouver, Canada; Enderby, Canada; Florida
Principal Cast: George Clooney, Judy Greer, Tim McGraw, Hugh Laurie, Kathryn Hahn, Thomas Robinson, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Keegan-Michael Key
Screenwriter(s): Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures (presents) (as Disney), A113, Babieka (Spain)
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Website

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of May 18-22, 2015:

May 20

May 22
The Farewell Party
Love at First Fight
Sunshine Superman
Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman
Drunk Wedding
Chocolate City

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.