AMMONITE – Review by Loren King

With his stunning 2017 debut feature God’s Own Country, writer/director Francis Lee created complex gay and working class characters and put them front and center. His follow up, the romantic, historical drama Ammonite starring Kate Winslet as real-life, self-taught British paleontologist Mary Anning who lived and worked on the coast of England in the 1840s, does the same for women straightjacketed by both gender and class.

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ANTIGONE – Review by Loren King

Sophie Deraspe’s very contemporary film is loosely based on the Greek myth. But there is nothing stale or stodgy here. Deraspe has made a film that it is immediate, visceral and vibrant, one that’s worthy of its title and lineage. As Antigone, newcomer Nahema Ricci’s a Joan of Arc figure for the social media age in Deraspe’s bold, modern film.

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US KIDS – Review by Loren King

I was moved while watching director Kim A. Snyder’s Us Kids — to tears, to rage, to action. To deep admiration and to hope. Us Kids is a compelling story of several ordinary but remarkable young people who refuse to be victims and of their incessant efforts to reclaim democracy.

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ON THE ROCKS – Review by Loren King

Writer-director Sofia Coppola re-teams with her Lost in Translation”star Bill Murray for On the Rocks, a New York-set father-daughter dramedy costarring Rashida Jones. Murray plays womanizer, bon vivant and high end art dealer Felix who tools around in a chauffeured car, constantly dropping in on his daughter Laura (Jones), a non-productive writer conveniently working off an advance, who lives in SoHo with workaholic husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) and their two young daughters.

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YELLOW ROSE – Review by Loren King

There is so much to like and admire about Diane Paragas’ debut feature, Yellow Rose it’s hard to know where to begin. The film beautifully captures the struggles of a young woman to find her voice and a sense of belonging in an often hostile world as it celebrates the joy of making music and its power to provide hope.

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THE GLORIAS – Review by Loren King

Even if you’ve traveled through much of Gloria Steinem’s life already — whether by her book My Life on the Road; the play Gloria: A Life written by Emily Mann and directed by Diane Paulus; or the recent Hulu series Mrs. America —Julie Taymor’s inventive, sometimes fantastical, movie The Glorias is a worthwhile trip. Written by Taymor and playwright Sarah Ruhl, much of the material is familiar but no less eye-opening as Taymor follows the feminist trailblazer at different stages of her life, when she is played by four different actresses.

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MISBEHAVIOUR – Review by Loren King

Taking factual, electrifying social/political historical events and turning them into engaging human dramas is something British filmmakers are particularly good at. Two obvious recent examples are Made in Dagenham (2010) about women workers who fought for equal pay at the Ford Motor company’s Dagenham factory; and Pride (2014) about the alliance between striking Welsh miners and London’s young LGBT community in 1984. Misbehaviour is a welcome and rousing feminist addition to this genre.

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SIBYL – Review by Loren King

Sibyl deftly balances romantic thriller and delicious drama with comic overtones about movie making. It’s one of the best on this rich subject since Truffaut’s classic Day For Night. Sibyl is a smart, surprising and sophisticated movie for adults, a refreshing reprieve from low bar moviemaking.

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MULAN – Review by Loren King

Director Niki Caro’s live-action remake of Disney’s beloved 1998 animated Mulan is by far the most ambitious and rewarding of the studio’s recent remakes. It remains faithful to the story, with its ancient origins, while giving it a modernity and a relevance that injects it with new life. It’s an old-fashioned battle epic with a solid female empowerment core.

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