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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FOR MADMEN ONLY – Review by Leslie Combemale

For comedy nerds, those who stand in front of a crowd and those that applaud them, For Madmen Only is a fascinating look at an unsung (and often unhinged) hero of improvisation. Delivered creatively, it achieves a good balance of honesty and respect for an innovator who, through his work, has helped many achieve their dreams of stardom, and in so doing, has made the world a funnier place.

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KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

As musical biopics go, Amy Goldstein’s Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl is what would happen if American Idol’s backstories of its aspiring singing contestants had less heart-tugging sob content and more honesty about how becoming a chart-topping star is not quite what it is cracked up to be these days. That is especially true for females in the industry, no matter how fiercely feminist they are. Nash’s struggles to continue to be an artist are very real.

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KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL – Review by Leslie Combemale

Amy Goldstein’s film illustrates why both women and men underestimate, or neglect women who create independently in both film and music. We expect women to scream, artistically or sometimes even literally, in order to be noticed. We expect them to be lauded by the powers that be. Or, we expect them to self-destruct. But, Kate Nash is a performer and creator who finds a way to speak her truth, loudly and creatively, as a woman, and on her own terms.

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I AM WOMAN – TIFF19 Review by Lauren Bradshaw

I Am Woman, directed by Unjoo Moon, is a timely, yet familiar biopic on music legend Helen Reddy and her contribution to the women’s liberation movement. It’s interesting (and disheartening) to see that many of the issues Helen and her compatriots were fighting for in the ’70s and ’80s are the same issues we are still fighting for today.

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ASK DR. RUTH – Review by Martha K Baker

Ryan White’s documentary biography of Ruth Westheimer shows her through all these years, but for her childhood, he adds animation — a rather weird choice. Better are scenes of her with Steinem and Obama, of her talking sex, not politics, and of her back in Europe visiting her haunts, of her in her old apartment with her long-time secretary, trying to keep up with her.

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Director Lisa D’Apolito Chats LOVE, GILDA — Nell Minow interviews

In her new documentary, Love Gilda, filmmaker Lisa Dapolito pays tribute to and chronicles the life and career of beloved comedian Gilda Radner, who died of cancer at age 44.. In this interview, Dapolito talks about getting to know Radner through her diaries and recordings, about Radner’s influence on some of today’s brightest talents and about creating a new generation of Radner fans.

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