MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 8, 2023: JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN THE SERVICE OF MIND

Prolific author, keen observer, insightful storyteller, compulsive writer, incisive tweeter. Joyce Carol Oates is all of these things and more, as director Stig Björkman makes abundantly clear in his thoughtfully constructed, affectionate documentary Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in Service of Mind. Tracing Oates’ life and career over the course of several decades, Björkman makes it clear that she has well earned her reputation as an iconic American writer.

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JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN THE SERVICE OF MIND – Review by Jennifer Merin

Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in Service of Mind is a delightful documentary delve into the persona and personal opinions of the notoriously self effacing and non-stop prolific literary goddess known as Joyce Carol Oates. Filmmaker Stig Bjorkman. a longstanding friend of Joyce Carol Oates. gives us a respectful and intimate documentary that spends its hour and a half on current interviews with Oates, as well as clips from her past interviews with Dick Cavitt and other broadcast presenters and select readings from her writings that are voiced by Laura Dern over footage of Oates at work, or hiking through the countryside.

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JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN SERVICE OF MIND – Review by Nikki Fowler

Greenwich Entertainment’s documentary Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in the Service of Mind is a beautiful and informative look into the life and work of the beloved and award-winning novelist by the same name, who not only wrote a series of novels drenched immensely in gender, race, socioeconomics, and politics but who wrote dramatic novels sans politics under pseudonyms which she described as getting to “start over” and “to write as if she were “writing for the first time.”

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WEEK IN WOMEN: NBC Special Celebrates Carol Burnett’s Birthday – Brandy McDonnell reports

Paying tribute to a beloved national icon for her birthday, NBC will celebrate Carol Burnett’s illustrious career with Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love. The two-hour special will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT April 26 and will stream next day on Peacock. Filmed at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, the star-studded special will feature an A-list lineup of musical performances and special guests, who will come together to share their love for one of the most cherished comediennes in television history.

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THE SON – Review by Susan Granger

The Son revolves around an affluent family, headed by workaholic Peter Miller (Hugh Jackman) who is struggling, along with his ex-wife (Laura Dern), to help their volatile, self-destructive 17-year-old son, Nicholas (Zen McGrath), while grappling with an infant, a younger partner (Vanessa Kirby) and the psychological trauma inflicted by his tyrannical father (Anthony Hopkins.)

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by Susan Granger

Jurassic World: Dominion marks the return of the human characters who propelled previous sequels. Problem is: as a result of frenzied storylines, numerous gargantuan species and too many bumbling characters, there’s no emotional connection. And when two savage CGI apex predators finally grapple, it’s over a puny deer carcass. Perhaps this cautionary tale heralds the extinction of the once-beloved Jurassic franchise.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Laura Dern stars in Susannah Grant’s LONELY PLANET – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award and Primetime Emmy nominee Susannah Grant is writing, directing and producing Lonely Planet, a love story set in Morocco, for Netflix. The film is to star Oscar winner Laura Dern, currently to be be seen in the blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion.

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Director Colin Trevorrow keeps the globe-hopping action moving at a brisk pace, likely so viewers don’t ask many questions. The action sequences are effective, easy to track and edited with a blend of wide and closer shots, some with teeth snapping right at the screen. Yet the story lacks teeth: There’s no cohesion, or satisfying setups and payoffs. It’s enough to drive some dino fans buggy.

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by T.J. Callahan

Dinosaurs are chasing Bryce Dallas Howard again and this time she’s wearing flats. The good: double the dinosaurs, plenty of action, nostalgia, more snarky Jeff Goldblum, and strong and smart female characters that are the equal of men. The not so good: multiple meh storylines, cheesy acting, and not enough people get eaten. You know that’s what the public really wants.

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SHERYL (SXSW 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Amy Scott’s new biographical documentary Sheryl reveals the musician’s tumultuous personal experience becoming the icon she is, with Sheryl herself opening up about the joys and challenges in her life and career. The film is straightforward and conventional, but if the mark of a good bio-doc is having a subject and interviewees that speak honestly and from time to time lay their souls bare, Sheryl hits that note beautifully.

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