MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 22, 2021: IDENTIFYING FEATURES

Heartbreaking and quietly powerful, writer/director Fernanda Valadez’ debut drama Identifying Features shines a light on the complex, tragic realities of what can happen when undocumented immigrants set out to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. It is a truly heartbreaking film that puts a very human face on a humanitarian crisis, sparking both empathy and outrage.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 15, 2021: ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY

The United States has never truly been a democracy, because it has never fully supported voting rights for all of its citizens. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for the future. By focusing specifically on Stacey Abrams’ work and experiences in Georgia, All In reveals the path to true democracy — and, guess what? It works, but it’s hard.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 8, 2021 – Team #MOTW’s Best of 2020

We’re saying a final farewell to 2020, a year that has but few fond memories for most folks. But, among the good remembrances are fine films that sustained us not only by providing stress respite, but also by opening minds to much-needed contemplation about the way we live, and by energizing heartfelt aspirations for change for the better. Throughout the year, AWFJ’s #MOTW feature served as a beacon, a guiding light for moviegoers seeking excellent and inspiring entertainment.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 1, 2021: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Smart, bold, and refreshingly original, Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman marks the feature directorial debut of a major filmmaking talent.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 25, 2020: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Anyone who thinks female directors should stick to telling women’s stories is a) sexist and b) in for a surprise when they watch Regina King’s powerful directorial feature film debut One Night in Miami. Based on Kemp Powers’ same-named 2013 play, it imagines the fascinating conversation that might have happened between activist Malcolm X, boxer Cassius Clay, singer Sam Cooke, and NFL star Jim Brown had they all found themselves in the same place on the night of February 25, 1964.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 18, 2020: MODERN PERSUASION

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Jane Austen novel in possession of a memorable heroine must be in want of a contemporary update. Which isn’t always a good thing, but, happily, Alex Appel and Jonathan Lisecki’s Modern Persuasion is sweet and charming enough to please anyone who relishes a good comedy of manners with a side of swoon-worthy romance.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 11, 2020: FAREWELL AMOR

Love — and the best of intentions — may not be enough to overcome a 17-year separation for the reunited family of three who are at the heart of writer/director Ekwa Msangi’s touching first feature, Farewell Amor. This affecting drama raises thoughtful, heartfelt questions about what it means to be a family, And, it takes an honest and insightful look at the difficulties of immigration.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 4, 2020: LUXOR

Centering on a powerful performance by Andrea Riseborough, Zeina Durra’s dreamy, introspective romantic drama Luxor explores what-ifs and second chances as its characters explore ancient Egyptian ruins, finding their way to a place of connection and understanding. Riseborough plays Hana, a British doctor who’s come to the city of Luxor to rest and recuperate from the stresses of her efforts as an international aid worker.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 27, 2020: AMMONITE

Human connection brings warmth and joy to a bleak time and place in Francis Lee’s Ammonite, which centers on renowned British paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and her relationship with a woman named Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan). While its details may be more speculation than fact, there’s no denying its message about the transformative power of kinship and attraction.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 20, 2020: ANTIGONE

Quebecois writer/director Sophie Deraspe brings fresh life to ancient source material with Antigone, her powerful update of Sophocles’ classic play. Trading a Greek chorus for smartphone-wielding teens and city-state rivalries for clashes related to gang loyalty, it centers on the smart, resourceful titular teen, played rivetingly by Nahema Ricci.

Read more