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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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, October 26, 2018: LIYANA

motw logo 1-35Profound and poignant, the documentary affirms the value of story and storytelling as emotional relief and an element in healing for those who’ve been traumatized — the five orphaned children followed in this extraordinary documentary and, by extension, the survivors of war, rape, genocide, drought, starvation, extreme poverty and other disasters around the globe. Movies can matter. Liyana clearly does.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 12, 2018: SADIE

motw logo 1-35Moody and pensive, Megan Griffiths’ Sadie isn’t your typical coming-of-age drama. It centers on 13-year-old Sadie (Sophia Mitri Schloss), who’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep her family together, despite her soldier father’s long deployment overseas and her mother, Rae’s (Melanie Lynskey), increasing loneliness and dissatisfaction with her long-distance marriage. Schloss and Lynskey deliver heart wrenching performances in this strikingly femme-centric film which shoots an arrow right into the heart of domestic disruption that results from faraway wars.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 5, 2018: ALL ABOUT NINA

motw logo 1-35Propelled by a raw, powerful performance from star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eva Vives’ debut feature All About Nina couldn’t be more timely or relevant. The story of a caustic stand-up comic whose drunken one-night stands and other self-destructive choices mask heartbreaking pain, it will resonate deeply with anyone who’s ever been afraid to let someone else get close.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 28, 2018: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

“Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey,” says Jane Fonda in Susan Lacy’s revealing, deeply personal documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and — after hearing stories she’s told for the previous two hours — it’s impossible to disagree. Fonda’s revelatory reflections on her life as actress and activist make it clear that giving herself permission to be imperfect let her become her happiest self.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 21, 2018: COLETTE

Keira Knightley shines as the star of Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” a beautifully realized biopic about the early years of the celebrated French writer. Knightly immerses herself in the role, bringing Colette’s personal struggles — and self-awakening — vividly to life within the lavish Belle Epoche environs established with gorgeous sets, costumes and cimenatography.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 24, 2018 : THE BOOKSHOP

motw logo 1-35A woman’s modest but passionate dream of running a book store goes up against small-town politics in Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop. With stunning performances by Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Nighy and yong Honor Kneafsey, this intimate English-to-the-core drama reveals darkness at the heart of a storybook village.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 10, 2018: SKATE KITCHEN

motw logo 1-35That Crystal Moselle’s Skate Kitchen often feels more like a documentary than a scripted drama is no surprise, given Moselle’s experience as a documaker and her cast of real-life NYC skateboarders playing fictionalized versions of themselves. The film delivers its story about female friendship with verve and authenticity.

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