2018 AWFJ EDA Award Winners – Jennifer Merin reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is proud that our 2018 EDA Awards nominees and winners genuinely reflect the movie industry’s recent advances in the cause of equality and diversity. Our EDA Awards always honor the year’s best films and artists, regardless of gender, but we also recognize the need to have categories that focus specifically on women’s achievements in an industry that still has a long way to go to reach gender parity and equal opportunity for all.

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2018 EDA Award Winners

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 AWFJ EDA Awards. In our 12th annual awards season, we present EDA Awards in 25 categories divided into three sections, the BEST OF AWARDS, FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS AND EDA SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS. Nominees in each category are determined by AWFJ members who submit nominating ballots. There are currently 84 voting AWFJ members. The full membership list is accessible here. And the 2018 EDA Award winners are:

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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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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Review by Diane Carson

Can You Ever Forgive Me? highlights Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic gifts. We who know Melissa McCarthy as a brilliantly talented comedic actress will expand our categorization with her dramatic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? McCarthy plays the real-life Lee Israel, in her fifties, living in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, eking out a living writing biographical histories. Tough times and her abrasive personality propel her into a downturn.

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Melissa McCarthy on Getting Serious in CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Jessica Zack interviews

Creating a cache of brazen characters “from the outside in” has always come naturally to Melissa McCarthy because, she says, “I’m someone who just throws it all out there. This probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, but I’m not guarded.” Given her natural inclination to be brash and lead with a smile, McCarthy said portraying her latest character, the infamously gruff biographer turned literary forger Lee Israel, in the new movie Can You Ever Forgive Me? required a totally different approach.

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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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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? — Review by Cate Marquis

Melissa McCarthy gives a commanding performance in a rare dramatic role based on the true story of Lee Israel, a one-time New York Times bestselling biographer in the ’70s and ’80s, who has fallen on hard times and turns to a life of crime as a forger of letters from literary greats such as Noel Coward and Dorothy Parker.

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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Review by Anne Brodie

Melissa McCarthy’s extraordinary performance as Lee Israel, the literary swindler and forger, is inspired, complete and unforgettable. Her portrayal of the Hollywood biographer turned criminal is touched with genius. She’s not sympathetic and she certainly doesn’t become sympathetic, but McCarthy’s touching hardass earns our attention as a wounded person with no idea how to reign herself in.

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