MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 12, 2019: GIRLS OF THE SUN

motw logo 1-35A determined mother prepares to battle an extremist regime in desperate hopes of finding and rescuing her young son, who was torn from her by the same oppressors who turned her into a sex slave. No, it’s not The Handmaid’s Tale — it’s director Eva Husson’s powerful Girls of the Sun, which is based on all-too-real circumstances in present-day Kurdistan.

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For Agnes Varda: A Memorial Tribute and Celebration

RIP Agnes Varda. You have left the mortal realm of moviemakers, but your films, curiosity, love of life and feminism are still guiding lights for audiences who believe that movies matter. The Alliance of Women Film Critics honors your memory with this collective tribute of articles and reviews by members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 22, 2019: WOMAN AT WAR

motw logo 1-35Having a fearless, independent, complicated middle-aged woman at the center of this original comedy/drama is reason enough to distinguish the Icelandic film Woman at War. That director Benedikt Erlingsson, working from a script he wrote with Ólafur Egill Egilsson, has managed to make a film about environmental activism in the Icelandic countryside that’s fresh, quirky and compelling is an added bonus.

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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 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 November 9, 2018: HERE AND NOW

motw logo 1-35Introspective and contemplative, Fabien Constant’s drama Here and Now follows talented singer Vivienne (Sarah Jessica Parker) through roughly 24 hours after she’s diagnosed with a serious form of brain cancer and learns she may have no more than 14 months left to live. With everything from her upcoming tour to her time with her teenage daughter now up in the air, Vivienne struggles to come to terms with this unexpected twist of fate.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, November 2, 2018: WHAT THEY HAD

motw logo 1-35What They Had, the first feature from actress-turned-writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, is a stirring family drama in which adult siblings, Bridget (Hilary Swank) and Nick (Michael Shannon) are trying to cope with their mother’s (Blythe Danner) progressive dementia and their father’s (Robert Forster) denial of her disability. Chomko’s well-crafted script and sensitive direction, and the superb performances from the stellar ensemble bring a balance of heartbreak and humor to this painful and entirely relatable situation.

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

It’s not realistic to expect that we can shield kids from scary or gory content forever. And, in fact, it can be counterproductive to prevent children from seeing any kind of conflict, loss, or trauma on screen. Far better to use these moments, when they come, as opportunities to help them through hard stuff in a safe place. Continue reading…

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