MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 7, 2019: ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE

Even when you have a pretty strong sense of how it’s going to end, there’s something immensely appealing about a good, old-fashioned romantic comedy; they’re the comfort food of movies. And while Nahnatchka Khan’s “Always Be My Maybe” is, thankfully, refreshingly NEW-fashioned in terms of representation — and has some genuinely surprising comic elements — it’s exactly the kind of romcom that’s perfect to curl up in front of on a Saturday night. (Plus, it has a subplot all about actual comfort food, so there’s that.)

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 31, 2019: Rachel Carey’s ASK FOR JANE

Movies don’t get much more timely than Ask for Jane, director Rachel Carey’s earnest, fact-based feature film debut about a group of young college women in pre-Roe v. Wade Chicago who formed the Jane Collective, an underground organization that defied current laws and risked criminal prosecution to help women with unwanted pregnancies secure safe medical abortions.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 24, 2019: ASK DR. RUTH

With her twinkling eyes, mischievous grin, and clear zest for talking about all things intimate, Dr. Ruth Westheimer — the public version of her, anyway — has always been an easy woman to like. Happily, Ryan White’s engaging documentary about America’s pre-eminent sex therapist, Ask Dr. Ruth, provides ample evidence that she’s just as appealing once you get to know her better.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 17, 2019: Amy Poehler’s WINE COUNTRY

If you can’t get to wine country with your own girlfriends anytime soon, you could do far worse than tagging along with Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, and their crew as they celebrate female friendship in all its messy glory. Blending crisp whites and robust reds with both humor and introspection, Wine Country is like a cross between a buddy comedy and a midlife-crisis therapy session.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 3, 2019: Laura Steinel’s FAMILY

Stories about stand-offish/lonely/workaholic adults being transformed by their relationship with precocious/charming/offbeat kids aren’t hard to find in Hollywood, but — until Family — none have hinged on the transformative power of acceptance by the Juggalos. And that helps make Laura Steinel’s quirky, poignant comedy about a reluctant aunt and her awkward niece stand out from the crowd.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 26, 2019: Jennifer Townsend’s CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE

Few films have made the kind of impact on feminist-minded moviegoers as Thelma & Louise did when it hit theaters in 1991. Ridley Scott’s story of female friendship and empowerment struck a powerful chord with women (yes, men, too, but let’s let the ladies own this one) — one that still resonates almost three decades later. In the compelling documentary Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise, director Jennifer Townsend, helming her first film at age 80, digs into exactly why the movie had — and continues to have — such an impact.

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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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