MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 14, 2022: SELL/BUY/DATE

Like an earnest, feminist, less inflammatory (but just as ready to tackle controversy head on) Sacha Baron Cohen, Tony-winning performer Sarah Jones uses a variety of memorable characters to explore the complex, complicated world of sex work in her feature film directorial debut, Sell/Buy/Date. Executive produced by Meryl Streep and adapted by Jones from her own successful stage play, the film doesn’t have easy answers or neat solutions but does offer plenty of insight — and raises thought-provoking questions.

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SELL/BUY/DATE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The documentary Sell/Buy/Date was inspired by actress, writer and first-time film director Sarah Jones and based on her same-named stage play in which she played three other characters who all have connections to the sex trade. There was some controversy about her topic that made people think that she would show a negative portrait of women who make a living in this way. That was not her intent. However, when a social media backlash occurred when the film was announced, producers Laverne Cox and Rashida Jones left the project. However, Meryl Streep stepped up to be the executive producer.

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DON’T LOOK UP – Review by Lauren Anderson

Don’t Look Up is a whirlwind of a movie. The Adam McKay film follows Kate Dibiasky and Dr. Mindy, two astronomers, who find themselves at the center a media frenzy while they’re attempting to warn mankind of a massive comet that’s hurtling towards Earth. While the narrative of this movie is intended to be humorous, it’s also eerily reflective of the way humanity could react if something like this were actually to happen.

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DON’T LOOK UP – Review by Martha K Baker

The title is ironic. The idea is to look up. Up there, a comet is coming this way, and it will destroy the Earth and its denizens. That’s the prediction of two astronomers, Dr. Randall Mindy and his colleague, Kate Dibiasky, still earning her doctorate (an academic point made clear in every introduction). They are Spartans at Michigan State University. Read: low-level. Read: Midwest. Which is why the President herself decrees: “Let’s get some Ivy Leaguers in here.”

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LET THEM ALL TALK – Review by Diane Carson

Director Steven Soderbergh takes a casual approach in his latest film, Let Them All Talk. In fact, so casual that his cast improvised the lion’s share of the interactions, spontaneously expressing what they thought and felt. When the three central actresses are Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, and Dianne Wiest, that’s not too risky a venture, though conversations often meander.

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THE PROM – Review by Martha K Baker

The operative word is “fun.” F. U. N. fun. From the perspective of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland’s “let’s-put-on-a-show” fun. And where those old teens of the Forties added a skosh of patriotism to their hi- and lo-jinks, “The Prom” promotes sexual politics, for the theme depends from intolerance toward homosexuality.

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LET THEM ALL TALK – Review by Karen Gordon

There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye in Steven Soderbergh’s wise and deceptively breezy new film Let Them All Talk. The film centers around Alice (Meryl Streep) a successful Pulitzer Prize winning author. She’s working on a new novel, and her publisher, represented by her eager-to-please new agent Karen (Gemma Chan), is hoping that it’s a much longed-for sequel to her prize-winning novel You Always/You Never.

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THE PROM – review by Susan Granger

Let’s face it: Broadway’s The Prom was a mediocre musical – at best. So director Ryan Murphy wisely loaded the Indiana high-school girl’s plea for inclusion and love with the best cinematic talent available. The plot was actually inspired by real events. In a small, conservative town in Indiana, Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) is forbidden to take her ‘secret’ girl-friend Alyssa (Ariana DeBose) to the prom.

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LET THEM ALL TALK – Review by Susan Granger

Steven Soderbergh turns a transatlantic crossing into three talented actresses in search of a script. Mercurial, manipulative Alice Hughes (Meryl Streep) is an acclaimed author who journeys to London to receive a prestigious literary award. Since she doesn’t fly, she’s booked on Cunard’s luxurious Queen Mary II and allowed to invite several guests to accompany her.

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