BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Sheila Roberts

Blow The Man Down, filmmakers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s vivid New England thriller noir, follows the dark humored adventures of sisters Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe) whose mother recently died. While Priscilla aspires to keep the family business running, her more rebellious sister, Mary Beth, can’t wait to escape the boring confines of the small fishing village of Easter Cove.

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PREMATURE – Review by Sheila Roberts

Premature distinguishes itself from other coming-of-age stories in the refreshingly raw, authentic way director Rashaad Ernesto Green examines common themes about young love and evokes compelling, emotionally complex performances from his young cast. Zora Howard brings grace, beauty, vulnerability and passion to a character who finds herself on the daunting precipice of adulthood and must find the courage to make the transition.

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THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS – Review by Sheila Roberts

Written and directed by Scherfig, the New York City drama features an impressive ensemble cast that includes Zoe Kazan, Andrea Riseborough, Bill Nighy, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel and Tahar Rahim. Scherfig attempts to write an authentic story that will resonate with audiences, including those that may have never experienced such bleak situations in their own lives.

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ORDINARY LOVE – Review by Sheila Roberts

An ordinary couple faces extraordinary challenges in Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s moving drama, Ordinary Love. It’s an intimate, thoughtful portrait of a loving husband (Tom/Liam Neeson) and wife (Joan/Leslie Manville), who have been together for many years. They are confident and comfortable in their relationship, and know and understand each other very well. Their familiarity with one another is evident in the way one completes the other’s sentences.

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THE ASSISTANT – Review by Sheila Roberts

A polite command, “Show her in,” takes on a chilling connotation in award-winning Australian filmmaker Kitty Green’s riveting dramatic feature debut, The Assistant. Green takes a savage look at a typical day in the life of an aspiring, competent and well-educated junior assistant who has just landed a promising position working for a powerful entertainment industry executive. The story is inspired in part by the #MeToo investigation into workplace sexual abuse allegations by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and others that have been chronicled in the media over the past three years, and most recently in Ronan Farrow’s bestselling novel, Catch and Kill, and podcasts.

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A SIMPLE WEDDING – Review by Sheila Roberts

Love finds you when you least expect it in Sara Zandieh’s hilarious feature debut, A Simple Wedding, inspired by Hafez, Persia’s celebrated 14th century poet known for his lyrical writings about the joys of wine and romance. Zandieh directs from a well-crafted script she co-wrote with Stephanie Wu that melds romantic comedy with cultural conflict to reveal how love, tolerance, trust and understanding can transcend cultural differences, gender bending stereotypes, old grudges, and misguided assumptions about each other.

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BEANPOLE – Review by Sheila Roberts

Beanpole is a tough film to watch. It’s powerful, deeply moving, cruel and ferocious, but definitely worth your time. Filmmaker Kantemir Balagov is a brilliant young director who made a bold decision to cast unknown, first-time actresses in extremely demanding roles. His daring choices paid off. Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina elevate this Cannes-winning Russian psychodrama to an Oscar-worthy contender.

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CHICHINETTE: THE ACCIDENTAL SPY – Review by Sheila Roberts

Like many of her brilliant contemporaries — U.S. Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Holocaust survivor and renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and acclaimed Canadian zoologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg come immediately to mind – World War II spy Marthe Cohn’s crucial work behind enemy lines is finally receiving some well-deserved recognition in an inspiring documentary.

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