MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 6, 2020: PROXIMA

Alice Winocour’s drama Proxima may be about a woman who’s getting ready to head to space, but it’s the very earthly ties that bind us to this planet — and to each other — that are at the heart of this thoughtful film. Starring Eva Green as French astronaut Sarah Loreau, Proxima explores the intersection of professional ambition and motherhood in a way that will ring true for anyone who’s ever had to balance personal and professional demands.

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PROXIMA – Review by Nikki Baughan

Eva Green gives an absolutely stellar performance in Alice Winocour’s exceptional film. Both Green and Winocour wear Proxima‘s feminist credentials lightly, however. Neither screenplay nor performance act as soapbox; they don’t need to. The message is woven into the fabric of the film, which benefits from some beautiful, textural cinematography from Georges Lechaptois whose camera often rests on intimate moments. That the film’s power lies in these small interactions is indicative of a writer/director at the top of her game.

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PROXIMA – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The French sci-fi drama Proxima, is among the several notable space-travel features that have blasted off in this decade. But this is the first to have a female in the director’s chair. Namely, Alice Winocour, who uses down to earth human emotion and family issues for the film’s rocket fuel.

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MARONA’S FANTASTIC TALE – Review by Leslie Combemale

If you love dogs, independent films, and Fauvist artists like Henri Matisse, Marona’s Fantastic Tale is the movie for you. Creative animation –the way emotions, personalities, and experiences are shown in inventive, artistic ways — makes Marona’s Fantastic Tale vibrant, compelling and, I’d even say, magical to watch.

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LES MISERABLES – Review by Susan Granger

This winner of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize and France’s official submission for Oscar’s Best International Feature is, basically, Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miz’ in the ‘Hood. Co-written and directed by Ladj Ly, who was born and raised in Montfermeil, where Hugo set part of his story, it’s surprisingly relevant in contemporary culture, focusing on a real incident of police brutality.

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a haunting examination of love and the restrictions imposed on women by eighteenth-century French society. Artist Marianne is commissioned to paint a portrait of Héloïse, a work solicited by her potential husband in Milan for his approval and acceptance of Héloïse as his wife.

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LES MISERABLES – Review by Diane Carson

French cinema has produced gripping police procedurals. To that group must now be added writer/director Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables, set in the embattled Parisian banlieue (district) Les Bosquets where Victor Hugo located important scenes in his famous 1862 eponymous novel. Les Misérables won the Jury Award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and is France’s submission for this year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar.

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