BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY BLACHE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese are among her most ardent admirers. From 1896 to 1920, she directed over 1,000 films, with 150 that still exist and 22 that are feature-length. She was one of the first filmmakers to make movies with a fictional storyline and is thought to be the first female director ever. She was a co-founder of Solax Studios, which eventually was headquartered in Fort Lee, N.J., which was the epicenter of American filmmaking at that time. In 1912, she made the first movie, A Fool and His Money, to feature all-African- American cast.

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ROLL RED ROLL – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The toxicity of male behavior these days is stinking up the joint that we call our nation. From R. Kelly and Michael Jackson to the Hollywood revelations of the #MeToo movement and even the accusations against our current president and his hush money lifestyle. It hurts to learn that supposedly admirable icons like Bill Cosby failed us utterly, but even worse, that they are protected by those who benefit from not calling out such behavior for so long.

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SAINT JUDY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Saint Judy is a true-life tale of a female crusader, a legal eagle named Judy Wood who is responsible for a landmark case that strives to protect female immigrants who seek asylum in the U.S. to avoid persecution and possible death in their homelands. While we have seen this sort of high-minded advocate story on film before, this one has the presence of Michelle Monaghan, who avoids turning her Judy into a do-gooder bore.

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WOMAN AT WAR – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Woman at War is about a 49-year-old Iceland native named Halla (Hallodora Geirharodottir) who by day is a joy-filled choir director and tai chi enthusiast who has portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandala hanging in her living room. But make no mistake. She is indeed a warrior on a mission to save Mother Earth, as she regularly sabotages an aluminum plant that is helping to destroy the environment.

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DAUGHTER OF MINE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Set against the raw and rocky primordial landscape of Sardinia, Laura Bispuri’s Daughter of Mine is an intriguing if loosely told tale of two mothers, feral party-girl Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher) who gave birth to a look-alike daughter and Tina (Valeria Golina, hardly aged since starring in 1988’s Rain Man), a church-going factory worker with raven tresses who has invested her whole life to making sure the girl has been raised right and wants for nothing

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ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

As biopics go, On the Basis of Sex can seem almost as old school as some of the laws that its worthy subject spent her career objecting to and sought to correct. That would be Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as the film is meant to celebrate her 25th year as the second female Supreme Court Justice. But as we watch RBG blossom into the notorious crusader against gender bias that she was born to be, one wishes that the film took a few more chances in its approach to such an incredibly brave and smart woman whose super power was her cogent ability to state her arguments – a skill she eventually perfects in Sex just before the credits roll.

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CAPERNAUM – Rreview by Susan Wloszczyna

Capernaum is part Oliver Twist, part Slumdog Millionaire, but with only a modicum of a fairy-tale ending. Much like last year’s The Florida Project, children pay a high price when their impoverished circumstances are the result of selfish adults who lead careless lives. The difference is that Zain (played by Zain Al Rafeea), the streetwise 12-year-old Lebanese boy who barely has room to sleep amongst his countless siblings, is playing a real-life version of himself.

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