MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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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 August 17, 2018: THE WIFE

motw logo 1-35Glenn Close delivers a brilliant performance in Bjorn Runge’s The Wife. Based on Meg Wolitzer’s eponymous novel about the wife of a newly minted Nobel Prize-winning writer, this closely observed drama follows Close’s Joan and her husband, Joe (Jonathan Pryce), as they travel to Stockholm for his anointing — but will their marriage survive the trip?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 27, 2018: PUZZLE

motw logo 1-35Quiet but quite compelling, Puzzle pieces together the affecting story of a midlife suburban wife and mother (played by the brilliant Kelly Macdonald) whose innate talent for jigsaw puzzling pushes her beyond the borders of her humdrum domestic routine into an adventure of self-discovery.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 4, 2018: RBG

motw logo 1-35Not all superheroes wear capes. In fact, some might be clad in black robes and lace collars. That’s the inspiring takeaway from Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s “RBG,” the story of iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The biodoc traces RBG’s life from childhood to the present, both humanizing her and showing why she’s so beloved by all who are passionate about women’s rights and gender equality. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 27, 2018: LET THE SUNSHINE IN

motw logo 1-35Claire Denis’ romantic dramedy Let the Sunshine In stars Juliette Binoche as Isabelle, a smart, sophisticated Parisian artist and divorcee who’s only missing one thing in her life: true love. She meets plenty of men who want to sleep with her, but there’s something off about all of them; some are married, some are too full of themselves to be able to properly nurture a partner, some are exes who should clearly stay that way.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 23, 2018: MADAME

motw logo 1-35Despite its posh characters and haute Parisian dinner-party-centric premise, “Madame” isn’t just a zinger-filled drawing-room comedy. Rather, director/co-writer Amanda Sthers’ film is a cleverly satirical examination of class, privilege, self worth, and the bone-deep insecurities that plague us all, whether we’re hosting luminaries or serving them coffee. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 16, 2018: THE PARTY

motw logo 1-35Enigmatic and experimental as always, Sally Potter presents in The Party a tightly interwoven tapestry covering snappy interactions of seven quirky yet stereotypical Brits at a celebratory supper party. Shot in black and white, often in close up, the film reveals every nuance and wrinkle in superb performances by a stellar cast. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 2, 2018: A FANTASTIC WOMAN

motw logo 1-35Chile’s Oscar-nominated “A Fantastic Woman” is a twist on 1950’s movies about women in torture who often felt invisible, as though all that concerned them was good housekeeping. In this film, our heroine is a trans woman, played by a trans actress, Daniela Vega, who is struggling to be seen for who she is and all that she is. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 26, 2018: MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER

motw logo 1-35Take a British child, add an unexpected discovery and a previously unknown world of magic — including a school run by wizards — and what do you have? Nope, not Harry Potter. It’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower, a lovely anime take on British author Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s novel The Little Broomstick. Continue reading…

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