Worth succeeds on so many levels. Backed by the Obamas’ production company, the impressive feature film addresses the massacres that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. It concentrates on compensating deaths and injuries to more than 3,000 victims, that is, on the work of two men, Ken Feinberg and Charles Wolf.Read more
What is a human life worth? That’s something lawyer Ken Feinberg has spent his career figuring out. Feinberg was Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. His job was to put a dollar value to every 9/11 victim to determine how much money each family would receive; it was a complex, unpleasant job that saw Feinberg work three years pro bono.Read more
Based on the memoir What is Life Worthby Ken Feinburg, the lawyer in charge of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Worth is a fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at how dollar values were assigned to relieve the personal tragedies suffered by those who lost loved ones in the Twin Tower calamity. Starring Michael Keaton as Feinberg, the film is the third feature for director Sara Colangelo, who speaks about its serious theme and brilliant stars.Read more
Featuring a fearless star performance from Amy Ryan, documentary veteran Liz Garbus’ first dramatic feature, Lost Girls, is a wrenching story about a mother’s search for truth — and justice. It’s based on the real-life story of Mari Gilbert, a New York woman whose dogged determination to find out what happened to her missing daughter led to the discovery of serial killings in Long Island.Read more
The heart of Lost Girls is the connection forged by the survivors – the sorrowful sisters and guilt-ridden mothers who bond over the similar fates of their daughters. Amy Ryan is the hard-bitten engine driving this charge against simply shrugging off the disappearance of women, prostitutes or not. But the most soulful performance is given by Thomasin McKenzie as a daughter who supports her crusading mom even though her own needs are pushed aside.Read more
Netflix’s Lost Girls is powerful storytelling and it’s an absolutely riveting film. Documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus’ first narrative feature is a compelling thriller based on the true story of Mari Gilbert’s crusade to find her missing daughter.Read more
What makes Lost Girls stand out is the stellar performances by the actors playing characters based on real-life people who were dealing day-to-day with real-life tragedies, and the often subtle choices Liz Garbus makes as a director creating a film firmly planted in the female gaze.Read more
A frightened prostitute runs into dark night and seemingly disappears off the face of the earth, sending a frantic mother into a walking nightmare of official indifference in this tense, evocative drama, drawn from an actual case.
Documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus makes her fiction feature debut with an engrossing, character-driven film.
Beautiful Boy proves hard and essential to watch. Who’s going to see this earnest film? Drug addicts? Their siblings? Their parents. Maybe advocates and therapists and counselors? Beautiful Boy conflates two books by the father of the beautiful boy and the title character himself. The one is the paternal protector, the other the addict.Read more
Opening Oct. 17, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Birdman, which sees the welcome return of Michael Keaton as a washed up actor trying to reclaim past glories by staging a play on Broadway. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the hugely talented filmmaker behind the likes of Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel, and powered by a virtuoso performance from Keaton, Birdman is a knowing – and hugely entertaining – treatise on the fickle nature of fame.