MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 5, 2018: ALL ABOUT NINA

motw logo 1-35Propelled by a raw, powerful performance from star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eva Vives’ debut feature All About Nina couldn’t be more timely or relevant. The story of a caustic stand-up comic whose drunken one-night stands and other self-destructive choices mask heartbreaking pain, it will resonate deeply with anyone who’s ever been afraid to let someone else get close.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 28, 2018: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

“Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey,” says Jane Fonda in Susan Lacy’s revealing, deeply personal documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and — after hearing stories she’s told for the previous two hours — it’s impossible to disagree. Fonda’s revelatory reflections on her life as actress and activist make it clear that giving herself permission to be imperfect let her become her happiest self.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 24, 2018 : THE BOOKSHOP

motw logo 1-35A woman’s modest but passionate dream of running a book store goes up against small-town politics in Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop. With stunning performances by Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Nighy and yong Honor Kneafsey, this intimate English-to-the-core drama reveals darkness at the heart of a storybook village.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 17, 2018: THE WIFE

motw logo 1-35Glenn Close delivers a brilliant performance in Bjorn Runge’s The Wife. Based on Meg Wolitzer’s eponymous novel about the wife of a newly minted Nobel Prize-winning writer, this closely observed drama follows Close’s Joan and her husband, Joe (Jonathan Pryce), as they travel to Stockholm for his anointing — but will their marriage survive the trip?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 10, 2018: SKATE KITCHEN

motw logo 1-35That Crystal Moselle’s Skate Kitchen often feels more like a documentary than a scripted drama is no surprise, given Moselle’s experience as a documaker and her cast of real-life NYC skateboarders playing fictionalized versions of themselves. The film delivers its story about female friendship with verve and authenticity.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 27, 2018: PUZZLE

motw logo 1-35Quiet but quite compelling, Puzzle pieces together the affecting story of a midlife suburban wife and mother (played by the brilliant Kelly Macdonald) whose innate talent for jigsaw puzzling pushes her beyond the borders of her humdrum domestic routine into an adventure of self-discovery.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 20, 2018: 93Queen

motw logo 1-35Paula Eiselt’s documentary follows Rachel ‘Ruchie’ Freier, an Orthodox Jewish wife, mother and lawyer, as she launches an all-female ambulance corps to serve women of NY’s Hasidic community in Brooklyn. The result is a compelling glimpse inside an insular community and a fascinating portrait of a determined feminist.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 6, 2018: DARK RIVER

motw logo 1-30In Clio Barnard’s gripping drama about incest, Ruth Wilson plays an itinerant shepherd who returns to her family’s Yorkshire farm after her father’s death. Challenging her brother’s control of the place, she grapples with haunting memories of childhood abuse. Barnard’s raw, authentic style and Wilson’s spare, understated performance are devastating.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 29, 2018: LEAVE NO TRACE

motw logo 1-35Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace is a gripping drama about a teenage girl living with her dissident father in survivalist mode in the woods, shunning society until authorities force them to enter the mainstream and conform. Granik’s subtle style creates an environment of fear, without relying on violence or dystopian elements.

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