Opening November 22 -28, 2021- Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera. Our members are feature writers, columnists and regular contributors to a variety of media outlets and many of us publish regularly on the festival circuit. Our critical voices are widespread and diverse. We invite you to join us in tracking weekly releases of particular interest. And we welcome information about new films that will help us to keep our records updated and our critics alert. Below is a concise list of new releases set for the week of November 22 to 28 that are of particular interest:  

Wednesday, November 24 

  • House of Gucci – MGM / United Artists (Cinemas) – Canada / USA – Drama about the Gucci family directed by Ridley Scott, co-written by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna. Based on the book by Sara Gay Forden. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.

  • The Shuroo Princess – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Drama starring Fiona Dourif. When a young NYC-based freelance magazine writer, frustrated with the pressures of a failing publishing world and a less than promising romantic life, becomes infatuated with a wildly charismatic self-help guru it sends her on a journey of self improvement with catastrophic consequences.

  • The Trouble with Being Born – Mubi exclusive – Austria / Germany – Sci-fi drama directed by Sandra Wollner, co-written by Wollner with Roderick Warich. Elli is an android programmed with memories that mean everything to her owner but nothing to her. The story of a machine and the ghosts we all carry within us.

  • The Unforgivable – Netflix (Cinemas; Netflix release December 10) – UK / Germany / USA – Drama directed by Nora Fingscheidt, starring Sandra Bullock. A woman is released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime and re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past.

Friday, November 26 

  • Ayar – (Cinemas) – USA – Drama directed by Floyd Russ, co-written by Russ with Ariana Ron Pedrique and Vilma Vega. Ayar, a first-generation American Latina, returns home to reunite with her daughter. But when her mother, Renata, refuses to let her see her due to Covid, Ayar is confronted by the many roles she’s been forced to play.

  • A Castle for Christmas – Netflix – USA / UK – Holiday film directed by Mary Lambert, starring Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields. A famed American author, Sophie, who travels to Scotland and finds herself wanting to buy a castle, but the prickly owner, a Scottish Duke named Myles, is reluctant to sell to a foreigner.

  • Cusp – Showtime – USA – Documentary co-directed, shot and edited by Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill. In a Texas military town, three teenage girls confront the dark corners of adolescence at the end of a fever dream summer.

  • The Fight Before Christmas – Apple TV+ – UK – Documentary directed by Becky Read following a Christmas-loving man who gets obsessed with bringing Christmas cheer to all, and causes a fight when the homeowners’ association informs him that the event he planned violates the rules of the neighborhood.

  • Lady Buds – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Documentary directed by Chris J. Russo, co-written by Russo with Tamara Maloney. After the widely praised decision to legalize marijuana in California, six courageous women come out of the shadows of the cannabis underground to enter the new commercial industry.

  • Writing with Fire – Music Box Films (Cinemas) – India – Documentary co-directed by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas. In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, redefining what it means to be powerful.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.

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Margaret Barton-Fumo

Based in New York, Margaret Barton-Fumo has contributed to Film Comment since 2006. Her monthly online column, “Deep Cuts,” focused on the intersection of film and music. She has interviewed such directors, actors, and musicians as Brian De Palma, James Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paul Williams, and has additionally contributed to Senses of Cinema and Stop Smiling. She is the editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, published by the University Press of Mississippi.