FRANCE – Review by Leslie Combemale

France is meant to be a satire on fame, celebrity, and the blind adulation of news personalities and their takes on the news, and as such, it’s certainly interesting. Lea Seydoux excels at being at once beautiful, inscrutable, and magnetic as France de Meurs, a fictional celebrity newscaster, clearly designed in the vein of Christiane Amanpour. De Meurs, however, proves to be manipulative, self-absorbed, and shallow.

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HOUSE OF GUCCI – Review by Liz Braun

Every bit as plastique and fabulous as a knock-off designer handbag, House of Gucci is a wildly entertaining soap opera about people fighting over money, from director Ridley Scott. .Based on a real-life story of greed and betrayal and tragedy, in the telling here it is busy and beautiful to look at. There are a couple of leaps in the storytelling that don’t quite add up and a complaint might be lodged about some of the more melodramatic bits — but it’s all so visually dazzling and fun to watch that none of these quibbles add up to much.

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ADRIENNE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Adrienne is Andy Ostroy’s tribute to the beloved filmmaker Adrienne Shelly – who happens to be his late wife – and his effort to keep her memory and important contributions to the industry alive. Early in the film, Ostroy asks theatergoers waiting on line for Waitress, the musical, if they’ve heard of Adrienne Shelly. Despite the fact that her name is prominent on the marquee, none of them have. This movie, along with the foundation Ostroy created in Shelly’s name to support women filmmakers, will go a long way toward changing that.

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KING RICHARD – Review by Susan Granger

Will Smith has been nominated twice for Oscars. Now his persuasive performance as King Richard should earn him a third nod and, perhaps, first win. Smith plays stubborn, outspoken Richard Williams, the demanding yet loving father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. “You gonna be the greatest of all time,” Richard tells the girls. “You know how I know? Because I planned for it.”

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ENCOUNTER – Review by Diane Carson

In Encounter, the decorated Special Forces Marine combat veteran and father Malik Khan lovingly delights and amuses, then dominates and terrifies his two sons Jay and Bobby after he kidnaps them, certain he’s saving them from aliens. With Riz Ahmed as Malik, through intense physical scenes and a psychological labyrinth, the story moves through hairpin turns and tense confrontations.

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THE ATTACHMENT DIARIES – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

There’s a fearlessness to The Attachment Diaries that sees it power ahead without letting us pause to take a breath, and its determination and originality explode on the screen in something altogether wild, continuing to demonstrate just how ahead of the game both Javier Diment personally and Argentine genre film more broadly continues to be.

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LAMB – Review by Susan Granger

Iceland’s Lamb is a contemporary folkloric tale from Norse mythology. When a pregnant ewe delivers a strange lamb/human hybrid, astonished Maria swaddles the mysterious creature and Ingvar builds a crib so it can sleep in their bedroom. Lovingly bottle-fed, it’s named Ada. As Ada grows, they protectively treat her as the child they never had.

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THE POWER OF THE DOG – Review by Sherin Nicole

You’ll keep waiting for the axe to fall…and it doesn’t…and it doesn’t…and the tension builds to the bursting point. Perfectly benign moments take on sinister hues in The Power of the Dog, you know something is deadly wrong, tensions hang over your head, and when the axe finally falls it’s a hell of a payoff.

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MASS – Review by Susan Granger

Make no mistake. This is a difficult psychological drama to watch, as first-time writer/director Fran Kranz delves into the grief of two sets of parents whose children were involved in a high-school shooting. How do people cope with this kind of tragedy? And how do they ever move on? During the uninterrupted conversation, questions abound as resentment leads to understanding. Eventually, each character experiences a personal epiphany in trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy.

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