IN FABRIC – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

It’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, except the jeans are a dress and the dress is murderous, because LOLsob consumerism is killing us, or something. Settling on that theme is merely the result of desperately trying to extract some meaning from this oh-so arthouse, infuriatingly wanky retro exercise in style at the expense of all substance.

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GLORIA BELL – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

There’s usually little reason for a foreign-language film to get an English-language remake (that English-speaking audiences have an aversion to reading subtitles isn’t a good reason). But writer-director Sebastián Lelio found a really great excuse: because Julianne Moore, goddess, wanted to star in an American do-over of his 2013 dramedy Gloria.

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MA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

The cinematic efforts of men to delve into the inner lives of women continue to fail abysmally, in particularly horrific manner with Ma, a disgraceful waste of the brilliant Octavia Spencer. She deserves so much better than this bargain-bin cockadoodie pseudo-Misery wannabe. I console myself with the fact that she was probably at least paid well.

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XY CHELSEA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

The necessarily jagged new documentary portrait of Chelsea Manning — the feature debut of British filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins — feels, at times, scattered, uncertain, even a little lost. But there’s a good reason why: it is reflecting its subject, who was trying to figure out who she was when she became a US Army whistleblower, and still is today.

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HOMECOMING: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

If you don’t already understand why superstar singer-songwriter Beyoncé is damn near worshipped as a goddess, the new documentary Homecoming (streaming globally on Netflix) is here to show you why. Part concert film, part myth-in-the-making, this is a glorious pop spectacle that is both enormously entertaining and hugely important.

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NERVOUS TRANSLATION – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Eight-year-old Yael (Jana Agoncillo) has long afternoons to fill when she is home alone after school, a daily reverie that writer-director Shireen Seno depicts with a delicately observed melancholy and a charming whimsy reminiscent of the films of Miranda July. An imaginative and self-contained child, Yael is often left to her own devices. The heart breaks for her…

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