ALL ABOUT NINA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Hail Mary, full of rage. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is utterly incendiary as standup comic Nina Geld, who may or may not be on the cusp of hitting it big professionally while her disastrous personal life is most definitely getting upended, though it’s too soon to tell if that’ll be for better or worse. We’ve seen movies about men like this. We’ve never seen a movie about a woman quite like All About Nina.

Geld’s agent (Angelique Cabral) has been trying, seemingly for years, to get the New Yorker to move to Los Angeles for the career boost it would offer, but it’s more to escape an abusive (and married) fuck buddy (Chace Crawford) that the comic finally agrees to do so. There, her New Agey, touchy-feely friend-of-a-friend host (Kate del Castillo) presents a psychological challenge to Geld, who dresses in black, both literally and figuratively, as a matter of habit; and a potential new squeeze (Common) presents an emotional challenge: he actually wants a genuine connection, not a one-night stand, her usual approach to men.

So far, so familiar. But Eva Vives — making her feature directorial debut with All About Nina, working from her own semiautobiographical script — presents her own challenge to the subgenre of “closed-off fuckup is own worst enemy, sabotages absolutely everything” with the not-as-simple-as-it-appears gender flip of a familiar story. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).