MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 1, 2019: PARADISE HILLS

Alice Waddington’s lush, imaginative directorial debut builds such a convincing dystopian world that you’d be forgiven for assuming it must be based on some intricate, “Hunger Games”-like series of YA novels. But Brian DeLeeuw and Nacho Vigalondo’s tale of privileged young women at a very unusual “finishing school” called Paradise Hills is a true original.

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PARADISE HILLS -Review by Shiela Roberts

Paradise Hills, Spanish filmmaker Alice Waddington’s feature debut, is a stylish fantasy sci-fi thriller and a visual delight that does not disappoint. Set in a futuristic environment, the film’s ensemble cast includes Emma Roberts, Milla Jovovich, Danielle Macdonald, Awkwafina and Eiza Gonzalez. When Uma’s (Roberts) socially ambitious family forces her into an arranged marriage to a wealthy young man she has no affection for, the outspoken young teenager decides to defy social conventions in order to marry the man she truly loves.

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DUMPLIN’ – Review by Lois Alter Mark

A movie called Dumplin’ could go either way but, thanks to an appealing cast and feel-good message, this one is a winner. Despite the fact that her mom is former beauty queen, plus-size teen Willowdean is comfortable in her own skin. She enters the local Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant, becoming a role model for other unlikely entrants.

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DUMPLIN’ – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Dumplin’ is far from perfect, but it’s lovely — kinda like its heroine! — a movie that warmly embraces a wide(ish) range of girls-and-women-as-people, one that doesn’t reduce its large heroine to nothing more than her size: she’s simply a cool, funny, confused, perplexed, messed-up human being who still has a lot of growing up to do.

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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 August 11 to 18, 2017: PATTI CAKE$

Rap may be the musical medium in which Patricia Dombrowski aka Killa P aka Patti Cakes expects to make her mark in the world, but her story is more rock ‘n’ roll, unfolding like one of Bruce Springsteen’s working-class anthems in writer/director Geremy Jasper’s feature debut. Continue reading…

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