MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 25, 2019: ROMA

motw logo 1-35>Winner 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

A tenacious Polish teen who’s had to grow up too soon takes center stage in Anna Zamecka’s powerful documentary Communion.

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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

Most 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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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 7, 2018: CAPERNAUM

motw logo 1-35.Nadine Labaki’s painfully honest drama about a street-smart Lebanese boy who sues his parents for neglect (“for giving me life,” as he tells the judge) is relentlessly gritty, but it also never loses its humanity. The latter is largely thanks to 12-year-old Zain (Zain Al Rafeea), the compelling character at the center of the story. Because, despite every awful thing life throws in his path, he never stops caring for those who’ve earned his affection.

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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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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 23, 2018: PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS

motw logo 1-35The invaluable film distributor Kino Lorber has assembled a truly eye-opening collection of films from the silent era—all made by women. Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers is a DVD/Blu-ray box set that presents more than 50 silent feature and short films digitally mastered from 2k and 4K restorations from a variety of sources. The six disc set is divided by subject matter. Disc one is devoted to the works of Alice Guy-Blaché. All together, the set is essential viewing.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 16, 2018: BECOMING ASTRID

motw logo 1-35When you hear the name “Pippi Longstocking,” you likely immediately picture a vivacious, free-spirited Scandinavian scamp with red braids and a talent for mischief. But what about her creator, celebrated Swedish author Astrid Lindgren? In Becoming Astrid, director/co-writer Pernille Fischer Christensen reminds us that the authors behind some of the world’s most beloved children’s book characters were living, breathing people with complicated lives and all-too-human struggles.

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