Opening July 25 to 31, 2022 – 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. 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 July 25 to 31. 2022 that are of particular interest. Film titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. 

Tuesday, July 26 

  • Endangered – Rebel HQ (VOD) – USA – Thriller. A ride-share driver finds herself in unexpected danger after picking up a mysterious passenger who is not what he appears to be. Starring Lizzie Zerebko.
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  • Man of God – Gravitas Ventures – Greece – Biographical drama written and directed by Yelena Popovic. Exiled unjustly, convicted without trial, slandered without cause. Saint Nektarios of Aegina bore the unjust hatred of his enemies while preaching the Word of God.

Friday, July 29

  • A Balance – Film Movement – Japan – Drama starring Kumi Takiuchi. While documenting a controversial tragedy that shook her community, a filmmaker must put her morals to the test when a perverse secret in her own life is revealed.
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  • Ali & Ava – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – UK – Drama written and directed by Clio Barnard. Over a lunar month a deep connection begins to grow between Ali and Ava, despite the legacy of Ava’s past relationship, and Ali’s emotional turmoil at the breakdown of his marriage.
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  • A Love Song – Bleecker Street Media (Cinemas) – USA – Romance starring Dale Dickey and Wes Studi. At a campground in the rural West, a woman waits alone for an old flame from her past to arrive, uncertain of his intentions while bashful about her own.
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  • Medusa – Music Box Films (Cinemas in NY & LA) – Brazil – Horror-fantasy co-written and directed by Anita Rocha da Silveira. In order to resist temptation, Mariana and her girlfriends try their best to control everything and everyone around them. However, the day will come when the urge to scream will be stronger than it ever has been.
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  • Not Okay – Disney+ / Hulu – USA – Dramedy written and directed by Quinn Shephard, starring Zoey Deutch. A misguided young woman, desperate for friends and fame, fakes a trip to Paris to update her social media presence. A terrifying incident takes place in the real world which becomes a part of the imaginary trip.
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  • Paradise Highway – Lionsgate (Cinemas, VOD) – Germany / USA – Thriller written and directed by Anna Gutto. A truck driver has been forced to smuggle illicit cargo to save her brother from a deadly prison gang. With FBI operatives hot on her trail, Sally’s conscience is challenged when the final package turns out to be a teenage girl.
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  • Purple Hearts – Netflix – USA – Romance directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum. In spite of their many differences, Cassie, a struggling singer-songwriter, and Luke, a troubled Marine, agree to marry solely for military benefits. But when tragedy strikes, the line between real and pretend begins to blur.
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  • Resurrection – IFC Films / Shudder (Cinemas; VOD Release Aug. 5) – USA – Horror film starring Rebecca Hall. Margaret’s life is in order. She is capable, disciplined, and successful. Everything is under control. That is, until David returns, carrying with him the horrors of Margaret’s past.
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  • Sharp Stick – Utopia (Cinemas; VOD Release August 16) – USA – Comedy written and directed by Lena Dunham. Sarah Jo is a naive 26-year-old living on the fringes of Hollywood with her mother and sister. She just longs to be seen. When she begins an affair with her older employer, she is thrust into an education on sexuality, loss and power.

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.