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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THE HANDMAID’S TALE Season 4 – Review by Susan Granger

With so many new dramatic series, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 4 somehow got put on a back-burner, begging to be binge-watched. Lacking its previous topical urgency but retaining its feminist rage, the fourth season begins where the relentless third left off, as heroically tormented June Osbourne (Elisabeth Moss) dispatches a plane filled with 86 children and numerous women fleeing from the tyranny of Gilead into Toronto, Canada.

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Ann Dowd on MASS, Forgiveness and Motherhood – Leslie Combemale interviews

Ann Dowd is one of four in the ensemble cast of the new film Mass, written and directed by Fran Kranz. In it, two couples, Gail and Jay (played by Martha Plimpton and Jason Isaacs) meet with Linda and Richard (Dowd and renowned stage actor Reed Birney) and talk about their sons, both of whom died as the result a school shooting. Linda and Richard’s son was the shooter. Their meeting, which in Mass unfolds in real time, reveals their shared grief and complicated emotions. As parents, guilt looms large, and forgiveness, of each other and of themselves, may or may not happen as part of the proceedings.

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MASS – Review by Pam Powell

If you don’t know the name Fran Kranz, you soon will. While this actor has a healthy resume, it’s his sharp eye for story telling that most assuredly will catapult this first-time writer and director into the stratosphere with his writing and directorial debut of Mass starring Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, and Reed Birney. With a keen ear for dialogue, a skilled eye, and deft direction of this passionate ensemble cast, the result is one of the most harrowingly complex and captivating films in recent memory.

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MASS (Sundance2021) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Somber chamber drama Mass, actor Fran Kranz’s writing and directing debut about two sets of parents dealing and confronting each other after the loss of their sons in a mass shooting is a very tough watch. It teeters at the edge but never crosses the border into grief porn, and that’s to the credit of the ensemble cast and a well-crafted story arc in the screenplay.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 3, 2020: SPEED OF LIFE

What if, instead of being a space oddity, the infinitely creative David Bowie was actually a time and space oddity, and his passing literally ripped a hole in the universe? That’s the intriguing premise of Liz Manashil’s charming indie dramedy Speed of Life, which centers on an avid Bowie fan named June whose life takes a very unexpected twist after Bowie’s untimely death in 2016.

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