WHITE CROW – Review by Diane Carson

Tackling an iconic artist for a fictionalized biography would prove daunting under any circumstances. Choose Rudolf Nureyev, insist on casting a dancer who has not acted previously in film, shoot scenes in Russian, and the challenges are Herculean. Director/actor Ralph Fiennes embraces just such an incredibly difficult project in White Crow, the title taken from Nureyev’s nickname.

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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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MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – Review by Brandy McDonnell

A British stage director making her filmmaking debut, Roarke ensures that the production values are high, the twisty plot is clear and Alexandra Byrne’s costume designs are flawless. She brings over the theatrical tradition of casting without regard to color whenever possible, which allows talents like Lester and Gemma Chan (as one of Elizabeth’s confidantes) to get in on the costume drama.

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THE THIRD WIFE – Review by Roxana Hadadi

Filmmaker Ash Mayfair’s full-length directorial debut The Third Wife plays out like a tone poem, a portrait of female identity, sexuality, and responsibility in 19th century rural Vietnam. The bamboo groves and floating lotus flowers are lush, the familial relationships between husbands, wives, and children are multifaceted, and there is a simultaneous sense of sensuality and tragedy throughout The Third Wife. A moment of happiness could easily transform into a moment of despair.

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TELL IT TO THE BEES – Review by Leslie Combemale

This love story, which happens in a small town, in post-war Scotland, speaks to the judgement and fear of imprisonment same-sex couples had at the time, since homosexuality was only decriminalized in England in 1967. It also exposes the lack of agency, and often suffocating restrictions and expectations set for women, while showing that love, and the falling into it, is always beautiful.

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