MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 28, 2020: PREMATURE

Sensitive and soulful, Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Premature is a poignant portrait of first love, from the thrill of the early days to the agony of conflict and parting. Set in Harlem, it centers on 17-year-old Ayanna (Zora Howard, who also co-wrote the script with Green), who falls for older music producer Isaiah (Joshua Boone) the summer before she’s planning to leave NYC for Bucknell University.

Read more

PREMATURE – Review by Sheila Roberts

Premature distinguishes itself from other coming-of-age stories in the refreshingly raw, authentic way director Rashaad Ernesto Green examines common themes about young love and evokes compelling, emotionally complex performances from his young cast. Zora Howard brings grace, beauty, vulnerability and passion to a character who finds herself on the daunting precipice of adulthood and must find the courage to make the transition.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 21, 2020: THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Help comes from unexpected places when needed the most in The Kindness of Strangers, Lone Scherfig’s heartfelt drama about a handful of people whose lives intersect amid the bustling anonymity of New York City. Centering on the plight of a woman who flees an abusive marriage with her two young sons, the narrative shows how circumstances — and life itself — can turn on a dime.

Read more

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS – Review by Cate Marquis

Zoe Kazan and a fine ensemble of actors play characters on the margins of life in Manhattan in Danish writer/director Lone Scherfig’s The Kindness of Strangers. The narrative has a stream of dark comedy as it follows the lives of a mixed bag of struggling strangers.

Read more

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE – Review by Karen Gordon

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu) is a stately-paced slow-burn of a film about repression, love, and the secret life of women in the 18th century, and beyond. Writer/Director Céline Sciamma sets her film in 1770 in France. Painter Marianne has been summoned to an isolated house on a rugged island in Brittany and commissioned to paint a portrait of a lovely young woman named Heloise. The job is straightforward. The circumstances are not.

Read more

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

The Kindness of Strangers‘ capable cast of actors is topped by Zoe Kazan as Clara, a young mother who runs away from Buffalo to New York City to save her sons from their father, an abusive cop who gets off on violence. With little means to support herself and no safe haven that she can afford for her kids save for libraries, she does what the title says – she reaches out to average citizens who just happen to be do-gooders.

Read more

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS – Review by Sheila Roberts

Written and directed by Scherfig, the New York City drama features an impressive ensemble cast that includes Zoe Kazan, Andrea Riseborough, Bill Nighy, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel and Tahar Rahim. Scherfig attempts to write an authentic story that will resonate with audiences, including those that may have never experienced such bleak situations in their own lives.

Read more