MANGROVE – Review by Diane Carson

British director Steve McQueen’s truth-based Mangrove, set in west London’s Notting Hill area beginning in 1968, imaintains disconcerting relevance today with racism on full display. Prevalent, brutal police prejudice sparks repeated, illegal and destructive raids and appalling harassment of restaurant-owner Frank Crichlow.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 27, 2020: AMMONITE

Human connection brings warmth and joy to a bleak time and place in Francis Lee’s Ammonite, which centers on renowned British paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and her relationship with a woman named Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan). While its details may be more speculation than fact, there’s no denying its message about the transformative power of kinship and attraction.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 27, 2020: TAPE

At times almost painfully voyeuristic — which is the entire point — Deborah Kampmeier’s Tape tells the powerful #MeToo story of two aspiring actresses whose ambitions put them in the crosshairs of a manipulative filmmaker. One is out for revenge, while the other is still hoping that she’s getting her big break. As their stories collide, truths are revealed.

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EVERYONE TOGETHER (SXSW2020) – Review by Sarah Knight Adamson

From the outset, Everyone Together’s preliminary scene draws you in—the outlandish costuming, the unique setting, and the deliberate overacting by its main stars—all establish an off-balanced tone, in this pilot for a proposed episodic series, centering on a dysfunctional family’s search for love.

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THE PHOTOGRAPH – Review by Leslie Combemale

From its first moments, The Photograph, with its underlying romantic jazz score and winning co-leads, is calling the viewers into an intimate slow dance, maybe with Luther Vandross playing, that feels safe, sexy, and so satisfying you won’t want it to end. It’s the sort of movie that’s rarely made anymore, yet here it is.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: New CELLULOID CEILING Report shows Uptick – Brandy McDonnell reports

In its 22nd year, the annual San Diego State University Celluloid Ceiling study found that women comprised 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 100 domestic grossing films released last year. That was up from 16% in 2018.

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Screenwriter Anthony McCarten on THE TWO POPES – Nell Minow interviews

Sometimes history is made by groups of people in labs or courtrooms or legislative bodies or battlefields. Sometimes history is made by two people talking to each other quietly. We hear those stories less often. It may be that what makes those changes possible is keeping them secret. Perhaps that is what makes imagining them so irresistible. That is what screenwriter Anthony McCarten has done in fact-based films like Bohemian Rhapsody, The Darkest Hour, and his latest, The Two Popes.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 20, 2019: WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL

In an era in which a cacophony of critical voices competes for potential moviegoers’ time and attention — and yet not nearly enough of those voices represent the diversity of the public they’re speaking to — Pauline Kael’s iconic status seems like even more of an achievement. Her remarkable career is the subject of Rob Garver’s insightful documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.

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