MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 21, 2019: THE BRINK

It’s no exaggeration to say that Steve Bannon quickly became one of the most reviled figures in Donald Trump’s inner circle during the 2016 election and the early days of Trump’s presidency. Cagey and clever, Bannon never seemed to make a move that wasn’t completely calculated. So you have to wonder what his motivation was to allow filmmaker Alison Klayman and her cameras into his life to film The Brink, an intimate documentary that follows Bannon from 2017 through the historic 2018 midterm elections.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 15, 2019: ROLL RED ROLL

Following the infamous 2012 case in Steubenville, Ohio, in which two teen boys who were local highschool football heroes assaulted and raped an intoxicated female classmate, Nancy Schwartzman’s compelling documentary, Roll Red Roll, crystalizes the danger of supporting a “boys will be boys” mentality.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 1, 2018: SAINT JUDY

SAINT JUDY is director Sean Hanish’s fact-based drama about immigration attorney Judy Wood (Michelle Monaghan), whose tenacity, empathy, and intelligence

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 15, 2019: DAUGHTER OF MINE

motw logo 1-35A passionate exploration of the nature of motherhood, daughterhood, and connection, Laura Bispuri’s Daughter of Mine has a raw, naturalistic feel that makes its characters and their choices seem very real. Viewers are plunged right into the world of two Italian women who both lay claim to a young girl who finds herself torn between them.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 25, 2019: ROMA

motw logo 1-35Winner of the AWFJ’s 2018 EDA awards for Best Film and Best Non-English Language Film (as well as Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing), Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” is a lushly filmed, beautifully specific slice-of-life drama that presents its central female characters with love and compassion. The story centers on Cleo (newcomer Yalitza Aparicio), the cook/maid/nanny to an upper middle class family living in Mexico City’s Roma district in the early 1970s.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 28, 2019: COMMUNION

motw logo 1-35A tenacious Polish teen who’s had to grow up too soon takes center stage in Anna Zamecka’s powerful documentary Communion. The film invests viewers deeply in Ola as she works every angle she can think of to bring her family back together, even though the odds seem stacked against her.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 11, 2019: WHAT IS DEMOCRACY?

motw logo 1-35 Thought-provoking and philosophical, Astra Taylor’s timely documentary What Is Democracy? takes a deep dive into a topic that many of us probably think we know a lot about. But, as is shown in this compelling film, it turns out that the concept of “democracy” has greater nuance and more room for interpretations than most average citizens (voters or, sadly, non-voters) around the world seem to realize.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 4, 2019: ON THE BASIS OF SEX

motw logo 1-35Most superhero origin stories don’t involve late-night typewriter sessions and legal arguments — but Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no ordinary superhero. Director Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex offers viewers a glimpse of RBG’s life before she became notorious, when she was “just” a smart, tenacious lawyer (as embodied by Felicity Jones) who was determined to fight for gender equality.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 21, 2018: BIRD BOX

Atmospheric and tense, Susanne Bier’s “Bird Box” is both a post-apocalyptic horror/thriller story and a character study. Anchored by Sandra Bullock’s star performance, the film explores what happens after the majority of the world’s population is struck down by an affliction that makes them see visions so nightmarish that they’re driven to kill themselves as quickly as possible.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 14, 2018: DUMPLIN’

motw logo 1-30Set to a peppy, empowering soundtrack of Dolly Parton hits, director Anne Fletcher’s Dumplin’ is an appealing coming-of-age dramedy about a plus-sized teen who confronts stereotypes — and her own rocky relationship with her beauty queen mother — head-on by entering a small-town Texas pageant. Willowdean “Will” Dickson (Danielle Macdonald) loves her mom, Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), but they couldn’t be more different.

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