MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 25, 2022: FAMILY SQUARES

In a pandemic-weary world where pretty much everyone is suffering from Zoom fatigue, it’s notable that Stephanie Laing’s Family Squares makes the experience of watching people interact via little boxes on one another’s computer screens both entertaining and genuinely engaging. It helps, of course, that they’re played by the likes of Ann Dowd, June Squibb, Henry Winkler, Margo Martindale, and Judy Greer — if only all virtual gatherings could be so star-studded!

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FAMILY SQUARES – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

For writer-director Stephanie Laing, her wry comedy Family Squares, is highly personal since it was inspired by the loss of her mother back in 2019. It’s also a love letter to her family that is stacked with an outstanding ensemble cast who use Zoom to communicate with one another while occupying virtual cubicles.

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FAMILY SQUARES – Review by Leslie Combemale

It is Stephanie Laing’s sophomore film as director, but much of the power of Family Squares is in the story. She co-wrote the screenplay, which was conceived as a COVID film, channeling experience from loss in her own life. It was originally called Spring Hope, after the small town near her family farm, and was based on a farm visit with her kids to say goodbye to her dying grandmother. Cut to a few years later when she was sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner in New York. She got a call from LA that her mother was dying, and had to said goodbye over FaceTime. These elements came together during the pandemic. Laing was considering the fact that over 200,000 Americans had died without being able to spend the last moments with each other in person, and found a way to tell all these emotional stories while keeping it real and funny and relatable.

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FAMILY SQUARES – Review by Liz Whittemore

Family Squares resonated with me on a very personal level. Everything from the weeping to inside jokes about which family members didn’t know how to locate the mute button made me smile. Writer-director Stephanie Laing understands the complexities that exist within a family unit. This massive all-star cast includes Henry Winkler, June Squibb, Ann Dowd, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, Elsie Fisher, Casey Wilson, Bill Magnussen, Scott MacArthur, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Timothy Simons, Jessica Miesel, and Maclaren Laing. Four generations of actors come together for one joyous and funny film.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Dahvi Waller Premieres MRS. AMERICA on FX/Hulu – Brandy McDonnell reports

Primetime Emmy-winning writer and producer Dahvi Waller, whose premier previous credits include Mad Men and Halt and Catch Fire was looking for an intriguing angle to delve into 1970s feminism, and she found it in Mrs. America.

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Martha K Baker

The title refers, of course, to the sea shanty most kids used to learn in the 5th grade. And so this original movie on Amazon begins with that ditty, sung by the fishers of Easter Cove, Maine, on the docks of that little, insular Maine coastal town.

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Pam Grady

The film is ingeniously constructed. Writer/directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy knit together multiple story strands so that Blow the Man Down‘s tone constantly shifts, tense now, now hilarious, now a blend of both, now oddly moving. The entire ensemble is terrific.

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Leslie Combemale

Margot Martindale makes every movie better, but co-writer/directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s new indie feature Blow the Man Down needs no propping, as things rapidly go from Shakespearean bad to worse in a small New England fishing village named Easter Cove, where there are few ways out, and most of them involve something illegal.

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Sheila Roberts

Blow The Man Down, filmmakers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s vivid New England thriller noir, follows the dark humored adventures of sisters Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) and Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe) whose mother recently died. While Priscilla aspires to keep the family business running, her more rebellious sister, Mary Beth, can’t wait to escape the boring confines of the small fishing village of Easter Cove.

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