ANNE AT 13,000 FT – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

Anne is a character we don’t see often in film, and director Kazik Radwanski gives us the space to react to her as we do. Most importantly, we’re given permission to not like Anne. “Likeability” is so often the death knell for female characters; it’s the cinematic equivalent of “you’d be so much prettier if you smiled.” To have a female character who simply is and doesn’t seek, require, or offer redemption to herself or others is rare and refreshing.

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LOS HERMANOS – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

Los Hermanos is a documentary about music and musicians, not about politics and politicians. Musician brothers Ilmar and Aldo Lopez-Gavilan brothers are charismatic, warm subjects, and it’s a joy to get to know them and learn about their unusual circumstances—with Ilmar playing the violin on the international stage while pianist Aldo’s career was based in Cuba , the country of their birth.

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STRAY – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

Cats: The humans give me food, shelter, and love. I must be god. Dogs: The humans give me food, shelter, and love. They must be god. That’s one of the main differences between Stray and 2016’s feline-focused Kedi, to which it will be inevitably compared. Both documentaries follow their respective stray animals through the streets of Istanbul, looking at their unique places in the Turkish life.

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DEAR SANTA – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

You probably won’t cry through ALL of Dear Santa, but expect your eyes to be a little leaky through most of it. The documentary Dear Santa follows the stories of the 2019 version of Operation Santa, a charity begun in 1912 that matches children (and some adults) who have written letters to Santa with donors. Writer and director Dana Nachman follows a few of Santa’s “elves,” including an elementary school’s student government, a postmaster in a small Arizona town and a former Operation Santa recipient.

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THE JUMP – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

The Jump is about a leap into faith by a young Russian who tried to leap to freedom, but missed by inches. In 1970, Simas Kudirka, a sailor, on a Soviet vessel off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard jumped ship to seek asylum on the nearby USS Vigilant. a coast guard ship. The documentary chronicles his story.

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FIRST ONE IN – Review by Kristin Page Kirby

Movies about women’s sports — particularly team sports — often get short shrift when compared to men’s sports movies; it seems that for every A League of Their Own there are a dozen Friday Night Lights, and that’s one of the things that sets First One In apart. Writer/director Gina O’Brien’s ensemble of characters and the actors who play them make First One In a good game to watch.

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CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? – Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

Emma is low in the hierarchy at work and low on confidence everywhere. Already a nervous flier, after a few cocktails and a lot of turbulence, she blurts secrets large and small to the guy sitting next to her, figuring it’s no big deal to tell a stranger every embarrassing thing that’s happened to her moments before she dies. But wait! They survive! And it turns out that Jack, her seatmate, is her company’s new CEO! Oh nooooo!

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ASTRONAUT- Review by Kristen Page-Kirby

When Astronaut soars, it really nails the landing. In one scene, Angus encounters workers filling potholes on a crumbling road and says “these roads were only meant to last 15 or 20 years, you know.” Then McLeod cuts to Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) walking across a stone bridge that’s clearly been there for centuries. Some things are built to last.

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