A FAMILY AFFAIR – Review by Susan Granger

A Family Affair is a Hallmark movie – only it’s on Netflix. Shallowly concocted by debuting screenwriter Carrie Solomon, it’s clumsily directed by Richard La Gravensese, who desperately tries to breathe life into a mundane romantic fantasy that’s filled with beautiful, privileged people wearing stunning ‘designer’ clothes, cavorting on lavish sets.

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THE MIRACLE CLUB – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Working-class Dublin and the women who want something more out of life are the core of The Miracle Club, an ensemble dramedy about a pilgrimage to Lourdes, the Catholic shrine in France where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared in 1858. Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates and Laura Linney lead an esteemed cast in a story that has so much on its mind at times, the tone and the pacing are uneven. Still, fans of the three may find this story rewarding, especially in its focus on honesty and forgiveness.

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ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET – Review by TJ Callahan

It’s difficult to reinvigorate excellence, but this cast and crew has. Sometimes
you want your favorites to be so good, you become too critical, but this feature version manages
to keep our memories intact of reading the book under the covers with a flashlight and taking
some of the pain out of puberty.

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ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

If you know a tween girl—or you remember being one—go see Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume’s beloved book about an eleven-year-old girl’s budding puberty comes to rich, layered life in this charming adaptation that’s funny, empathetic, and affecting. Abby Ryder Fortson takes the lead as Margaret, an easygoing, wide-eyed girl who returns home from summer camp to find her world upended. Her mom and dad have bought a home in New Jersey, leaving the bustle and clutter of a New York City apartment behind. For Margaret and her paternal grandma, moving across the Hudson might as well be across the country.

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RICHARD JEWELL – Review by Diane Carson

Joel Cox’s editing moves this story along with emotional closeups, and cinematographer Yves Bélanger’s strong compositions deliver strong content without distractions. The takeaway is that Eastwood’s presentation of Richard Jewell’s unjust victimization insists on a political relevance for our current climate, a targeted message that can’t be missed.

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