CAPERNAUM — Review by Loren King

Nadine Labaki’s extraordinary neorealist film left me gutted, and grateful to be allowed such an emotional response. The film opens with 12-year-old Zain (a stunning Zain Al Rafeea, offering one of the best juvenile performances ever) in court for stabbing, as he puts it, “a sonofabitch.”

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THE FAVOURITE – Review by Erica Abeel

A brash, bracing rethink of the historical costumer set in England’s 18th century court, The Favourite is far more audience friendly than the previous work of Greek auteur/provocateur Yorgos Lanthimos, whose super quirky films The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer have divided viewers. With The Favourite Lanthimos gets everyone on board in a wayward, ribald entertainment — anchored by stylish turns from Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman — that shifts women from the periphery of court intrigue to its center.

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CAPERNAUM – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Capernaum is an angry cry, through the character of Zain, for people to pay attention to and do something about the misery of others. Labaki’s greatest achievement may be that she made a beautifully crafted film with such a deep understanding for her untrained actors that it’s nearly impossible to tear our eyes from the screen or forget what we’ve witnessed.

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FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF THE GRINDELWALD – Review by Martha K. Baker

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald darkens and indensifies. What was fluffy and flirty in the first Fantastic Beasts has darkened in this sequel to the prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. What was once a flight of fancy, with beasties and ghoulies, now offers really scary stuff plus secrets revealed in true J.K. Rowling tradition.

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CAPERNAUM – Review by Cate Marquis

There are striking parallels to both Slumdog Millionaire and Charles Dickens in this grim drama, from the focus on innocent children whose lives are appalling, to indifferent parents, a cast of nefarious characters, harsh officials, and unexpected moments of kindness from strangers. Director Nadine Labaki chose to cast mostly non-actors whose lives were close to these characters.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 30, 2018: Best 2018 #MOTWs

motw logo 1-35.AWFJ’s Movie of the Week focuses attention on excellent films directed by women and/or centered on the stories of complex and fully realized women characters who are grappling — directly or metaphorically — with the issues women face in daily life. From January 1 to November 23 of this year, we have designated 48 Movie of the Week films. All of these have had strong women characters and 36 of them have been directed by women. We heartily applaud the variety of style and story, we honor the moviemakers who’ve brought them to the screen. As year end holidays approach and the movie awards season heats up, Team #MOTW members revisit our selections to suggest their favorites for immediate viewing.

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3 DAYS IN QUIBERON – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

In this raw and uneasy film, German writer-director Emily Atef paints of portrait of tortured celebrity — Austrian actress Romy Schneider (a riveting Marie Bäumer), one of the biggest European film stars of the mid 20th century — extrapolating from Schneider’s last interview in 1981, just a year before her apparently unexplained death at age only 43.

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THE GREEN BOOK – Review by Susan Granger

This fascinating, true story of an unlikely friendship begins with Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), an elegant, educated Jamaican-American classical pianist who lived in an apartment above Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall. In 1962 when his record company sends him on a concert tour of the Deep South, Dr. Shirley hires a gruff, gluttonous, street-wise bouncer from the Copacabana nightclub to be his driver/road manager.

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THE FRONT RUNNER – Review by Diane Carson

The Front Runner interrogates a watershed moment in media coverage In mid-1987, leading to the Democratic nomination of its 1988 Presidential candidate, Gary Hart was poised as the solid, impressive front runner. Director Jason Reitman takes that designation as the title for The Front Runner, an even-handed dramatization of watershed moments in media coverage of candidates; for during reporters’ unprecedented pursuit of Hart’s private life, the landscape shifted forevermore.

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