Opening Dec 13 – 19, 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 December 13 to 19 that are of particular interest:  

Monday, December 13 

  • The Rise and Fall of LuLaRoe – Discovery+ – USA – Documentary that explores the psychological techniques used by multi-level marketers, and how the clothing company LuLaRoe harnessed the full power of social media to onboard a massive pool of retailers.

Friday, December 17 

  • The Lost Daughter – Netflix (Cinemas; Netflix release December 31) – USA / Greece – Drama written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, adapted from the novel by Elena Ferrante. A woman’s beach vacation takes a dark turn when she begins to confront the troubles of her past. Starring Olivia Coleman and Dakota Johnson.

  • Margrete: Queen of the North – Samuel Goldwyn Mayer (Cinemas, VOD) – Euro co-production – Historical drama co-written and directed by Charlotte Sieling. The film takes place in 1402 when Queen Margrete is ruling Sweden, Norway and Denmark through her adopted son, Erik. But a conspiracy is in the making and Margrete finds herself in an impossible dilemma that could shatter her life’s work: the Kalmar Union.

  • Nightmare Alley – Walt Disney / Searchlight (Cinemas) – USA / Mexico / Canada – Drama directed by Guillermo del Toro, screen adaptation co-written by del Toro and Kim Morgan. An ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is. Starring Bradley Cooper, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett.

  • The Novice – IFC (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Thriller written and directed by Lauren Hadaway, starring Isabelle Fuhrman. An obsessive novice rower climbs the ranks of her college’s rowing team.

  • President – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – USA / Denmark / Norway / Zimbabwe – Documentary directed by Camilla Nielsson. Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. The leader of the opposition MDC party, Nelson Chamisa, challenges the old guard ZANU-PF led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as “The Crocodile.” The election tests both the ruling party and the opposition.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Tit;es 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.