CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The arrival of Can You Ever Forgive Me? is more than enough evidence that McCarthy is the real deal as she closes off her usual buoyant avenues of emoting for a darker, morose and complex persona – one paved in frustration and failed opportunity that is uniquely female in nature. Her usual brassy bravado is tucked away beneath a frumpy veneer of bitterness, disappointment and deeply seated resentment over anyone else’s success.

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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Review by Anne Brodie

Melissa McCarthy’s extraordinary performance as Lee Israel, the literary swindler and forger, is inspired, complete and unforgettable. Her portrayal of the Hollywood biographer turned criminal is touched with genius. She’s not sympathetic and she certainly doesn’t become sympathetic, but McCarthy’s touching hardass earns our attention as a wounded person with no idea how to reign herself in.

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ALL ABOUT NINA — Review by Nikki Baughan

An electric turn from Mary Elizabeth Winstead pulses through this striking feature debut from short filmmaker Eva Vives, which effectively shines a light on issues of honesty, identity and equality through the story of a stand-up comedian transplanted from cacophonous New York to the more introspective LA. While the character’s resulting journey of self-discovery may follow familiar lines, it is bracing nevertheless.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 5, 2018: ALL ABOUT NINA

motw logo 1-35Propelled by a raw, powerful performance from star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eva Vives’ debut feature All About Nina couldn’t be more timely or relevant. The story of a caustic stand-up comic whose drunken one-night stands and other self-destructive choices mask heartbreaking pain, it will resonate deeply with anyone who’s ever been afraid to let someone else get close.

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AL ABOUT NINA — Review by Liz Whittemore

Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a striking performance in this very dark film. As the plot rolls along, it takes an unexpected politically relevant turn that will make its release date seem written in the stars. The emotionally high and low journey you’ll go on with our leading lady will astound and leave you breathless. All About Nina takes center stage with comedy fueled by hurt, ambition, and truth.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 28, 2018: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

“Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey,” says Jane Fonda in Susan Lacy’s revealing, deeply personal documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and — after hearing stories she’s told for the previous two hours — it’s impossible to disagree. Fonda’s revelatory reflections on her life as actress and activist make it clear that giving herself permission to be imperfect let her become her happiest self.

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JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Filmmaker Susan Lacy packs in as much information about Fonda as she can using archival footage, film and television clips, and talking-head interviews with her family, costars and friends and, of course, Jane Fonda herself. For those who are just discovering Fonda, this documentary will help them understand her place in history and perhaps help them on their journey of self-discovery.

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PUZZLE — Review by Martha K. Baker

Puzzle is aptly named for a game and a dilemma. Puzzles are what children do to learn eye/hand coordination. But when Agnes receives a puzzle for her birthday, she is drawn to it like filings to magnet. She is a housewife for a festering man child, who works in a garage and expects his dinner on the table. Imagine his surprise when he finds a puzzle on it instead.

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THE BOOKSHOP — Review by Cate Marquis

In 1950s Britain, a widow moves to a small English village, buys a old house in town that had stood empty for years, with the intention to open a bookshop. Sounds harmless enough, maybe even something the village would welcome. But Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) does not find it so. It isn’t so much the bookshop that is the problem, although one seemly friendly villager offers her the not-to-encouraging advice that people around there don’t read. Well, the villager admits, there is one reader, the reclusive Mr. Brundish (Bill Nighy) but he never leaves his decaying mansion. No, the real problem,as it turns out, is not lack of readers, but that Florence happened to pick as the spot for her bookshop the very old house that a powerful local aristocrat Violet Gamat (Patricia Clarkson) had her eye on, planning to turn the building that everyone in town calls “the old house” into an “arts center.”

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