CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY (TIFF 2022)- Review by Leslie Combemale

Catherine, Called Birdy goes beyond what those who might not have liked Lena Dunham’s other offerings might expect. It stays true to the spirit of Karwn Cushman’s book, what is now a YA classic, and still gives the film a life of its own, allowing the performers to bring each character to life. Sophie Okonedo is a particular standout as an older woman who has found a way to make peace with her lot, while finding independence and a bit of joy for herself. For spirited teen girls and those who love them, Catherine, Called Birdy will be a fascinating look at history as well as a cinematic affirmation of what girls have faced for centuries and continue to face to this day.

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SHARP STICK – Review by April Neale

Sharp Stick is one of the films you watch and glean very little from unless you act like “some schmoe off the bus from Idaho,” which the lead character, Sarah Jo (Kristine Froseth), does with alacrity. Sarah Jo is a fantastic caregiver, and has a way with challenged kids that would make her a star for any family dealing with a child with issues.

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WOMEN AT FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2022 – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival – one of the world’s biggest and most highly genre films festivals – returns in 2022 from 14 July to 3 August with its usual impressive line-up of world, national and regional premieres, as well as hosting a diverse array of international and local guests and signature special events. Of these latter, the unquestionable highlight of this year’s Fantasia is the awarding of the Canadian Trailblazer Award to pioneering filmmaker, author, critic, historian and curator, Kier-La Janisse.

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SHARP STICK (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Lauren Anderson

After a decade away from feature films, Lena Dunham return to the Sundance Film Festival in 2022 with Sharp Stick, a witty sex comedy that explores coming-of-age through female sexuality. Starring Dunham, Sharp Stick is the story of a 26-year-old woman’s desire to explore sex in the most grandiose and bizarre way. Sharp Stick is a hilarious and engaging return to the screen for the Girls creator. Much like the HBO series did during its six-season run, Sharp Stick demonstrates growth and change through some of the oddest occurrences.

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HONEYDEW – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Honeydew sucks us into an intoxicating, delirious fever dream, where past and present collide in a nightmare zone of fucked up families and a veritable rainbow of other dysfunctional interpersonal relationships. And if that’s not enough, there’s a truly peculiar Lena Dunham cameo which has to be seen to be believed.

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