A MOTHER’S DAY Dozen Watch List

Mothers day is one of America’s big sellers, with all generations of children scrambling to regale their moms with flowers and chocolates and fancy brunches and greeting cards. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Mother’s Day spending in the United States is expected to reach an all-time high of $35.7 billion this year. But aside from energizing the economy, Mothers’ Day offers an opportunity for some deep thinking about what motherhood means to us all. After all, we all have mothers who birthed us and many of us are mothers to the next generations of our species. That said, the mother-child relationship is universal and, as such, gives rise to as many individual situations and interpretations as there are people who are planted on Mother Earth. Here’s a list of movies worthy of a Mothers’ Day watch.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 8, 2021 – Team #MOTW’s Best of 2020

We’re saying a final farewell to 2020, a year that has but few fond memories for most folks. But, among the good remembrances are fine films that sustained us not only by providing stress respite, but also by opening minds to much-needed contemplation about the way we live, and by energizing heartfelt aspirations for change for the better. Throughout the year, AWFJ’s #MOTW feature served as a beacon, a guiding light for moviegoers seeking excellent and inspiring entertainment.

Read more

MISS JUNETEENTH – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples’s feature debut is a beautiful cinematic experience, bursting with a gorgeous sense of place and character the likes of which are rarer onscreen than they should be. Nicole Beharie brings a strength and a weariness to Turquoise Jones, a former beauty queen and single mom trying to make a better life for her teen daughter.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 19, 2020: MISS JUNETEENTH

In a time when too much of the world is very belatedly waking up to the significance of Juneteenth — the holiday marking the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Texas finally learned of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation — Channing Godfrey Peoples’ coming-of-age drama Miss Juneteenth offers a thoughtful, relevant glimpse inside Black life in Texas more than 150 years after that momentous day.

Read more

MISS JUNETEENTH – Review by Sharronda Williams

Channing Godfrey Peoples’ Miss Juneteenth is a beautiful exploration into the dreams we have for our children and the lengths we go to make sure they are realized. Nicole Beharie delivers a phenomenal performance as her character explores the regrets of her life choices while also showing how Black women continue to overcome no matter what life brings their way. Peoples delivers a promising debut that will leave many excited to see what is next in her bright career.

Read more

MISS JUNETEENTH – Review by Leslie Combemale

Miss Juneteenth is about former pageant winner Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie), a single mom, who struggles to keep the lights on by working two jobs. She has a bone-deep desire to see her beloved 15-year-old daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) take the Miss Juneteenth throne, and use it to thrive in ways she herself each could not.

Read more

MISS JUNETEENTH – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

There are many films about parents who want their offspring to fulfill the youthful dreams that they never achieved, but Miss Juneteenth brings extra emotion because the characters live in an underserved Black community where most residents just scrape by. The pageant provides a coveted college scholarship for the winner. Director Channing Godfrey Peoples injects enough atmosphere on screen to make us feel for these folks and their travails.

Read more