Opening Dec 20 – 26, 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 AWFJ.org 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. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. 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 20 to 26 that are of particular interest:  

Now Playing:  

  • Drive My Car – Sideshow / Janus Films (Cinemas in NY + LA) – Japan – Drama co-written and directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. An aging, widowed actor hires a 20-year-old girl to be his chauffeur. Despite their initial misgivings, a very special relationship develops between the two.

Wednesday, December 22 

  • Gritt – Mubi – Norway – Norwegian drama written and directed by Itonje Søimer Guttormsen, starring Birgitte Larsen. Gritt hunts high and low for a home for herself and her artistic vision, undeterred by a lack of support, she embarks on her mission to bury capitalism and the patriarchy.
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  • The Matrix Resurrections – Warner Brothers (Cinemas) – USA – Action / sci-fi sequel directed by Lana Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
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  • The Velvet Queen – Oscilloscope (Cinemas) – France – Documentary co-written and directed by Marie Amiguet. High up on the Tibetan plateau, Vincent Munier, one of the world’s most renowned wildlife photographers, takes the adventurer and novelist Sylvain Tesson along with him on his latest mission.

Thursday, December 23 

  • Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery – Discovery+ – Canada – Documentary written and directed by Sheona McDonald. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous and sometimes nefarious world of cryptocurrency, Dead Man’s Switch is a cautionary tale about the short life and mysterious death of QuadrigaCX CEO, Gerald Cotten.

Friday, December 24 

  • Parallel Mothers – Sony Pictures Classics (Cinemas) – Spain / France – Drama written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The story of two mothers who give birth the same day, starring Penélope Cruz and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón.

Saturday, December 25 

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth – A24 (Cinemas) – USA – Shakespearean drama written and directed by Joel Cohen, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. A Scottish lord becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland, and his ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power.

Sunday, December 26 

  • Memoria – Neon (Select Cinemas) – International co-production – Drama directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, starring Tilda Swinton. A woman from Scotland, while traveling in Colombia, begins to notice strange sounds. Soon she begins to think about their appearance.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. 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.