BARBIE – Review by Jennifer Green

Less than a week into its release, Barbie was already well on its way to becoming a social phenomenon. That seems fitting for the source material. Director Greta Gerwig is extremely faithful to Barbie’s style, history and various incarnations, and her team has done a dazzling job of creating a life-size world of Dreamhouses, pink convertibles and candy-colored props. Also like its namesake doll, the movie’s global appeal is reinforced by the simplicity of its messages. There’s nothing subtle about Barbie. We like playing with her without having to think too hard.

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BARBIE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Gerwig has done the impossible by creating a movie that addresses all the reasons Barbie (who was introduced to the world in 1959 and has encouraged young girls to become everything from doctors to pilots to CEOs) is still selling globally at the rate of more than 100 per minute – yes, read that again – while, at the same time, is still being blasted for modeling a female physical ideal that can only be achieved in plastic. When the marketing blitz for Barbie first began, it was easy for everyone to roll their eyes and assume the movie would be no more than a feature-length commercial for Mattel. But then, we discovered that Gerwig was directing it and Margot Robbie was starring as Barbie and, suddenly, the potential for a subversive, feminist twist was apparent and intriguing and exciting and our collective conscience began thinking pink.

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BARBIE – Review by Susan Granger

Much-hyped, candy-colored Barbie is not what I expected. I was anticipating a silly, bubble-gum pink caricature of Mattel’s iconic plastic doll. Instead, writer/director Greta Gerwig and producer/actress Margot Robbie have created a satirical comedy-adventure that cleverly exposes our sexist societal shortcomings. Back in 2018, ambitious Israeli businessman Ynon Kreiz decided to expand the Mattel franchise into movies, TV shows, stage productions and theme parks, beginning with this surreal, live-action fantasy.

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BARBIE – Review by Pam Grady

It’s not easy being a stereotypical doll. At least, if your name is Barbie and you find yourself unexpectedly facing an existential crisis. Hype for this rendering of the life of Mattel’s classic toy had so many photos of Margot Robbie and a bleached blonde Ryan Gosling, as Barbie and her boytoy Ken spread across so many websites, that the production became a candy-colored mystery but with Greta Gerwig at the helm and a script by her and husband Noah Baumbach,) it seemed likely Barbie would not be a feature-length kiddie toy commercial. And it isn’t. This is, to borrow a phrase from the Eurythmics, sisters doing it for themselves. With dolls.

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WHITE NOISE – Review by T.J. Callahan

White Noise is just that – a bunch of white noise. Psycho babble. Constant talking over one another about the state of the world and the well being of one particular family in 1985 America. Jack and Babette are an existential Mike and Carol Brady. Divorcées with a blended family who must learn to get along with each other as well as the ever changing world. While grappling with consumerism on the home front, the tackle fear and the unknown when forced to evacuate their neighborhood due to an Airborne Toxic Event,

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WHITE NOISE – Review by Diane Carson

In White Noise, Noah Baumbach again, and comically, proves he knows exactly how to excavate the dynamic inner workings of a family and the dysfunctional society which empowers its members. At face value, the ironically named Gladney family offers a spectrum of amusing individuals. Central is J.A.K. i.e., Jack, Professor of Hitler Studies at the College-on-the-Hill, proudly lectures in the classroom.

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MARRIAGE STORY – Review by Brandy McDonnell

It’s also one of those films that never lets you forget you’re watching a film, with a stagy quality that feels like you’ve been invited to see Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and Alan Alda one-up each other in an exclusive acting workshop with Baumbach providing slightly outlandish material liberally sourced from his own life.

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MARRIAGE STORY – Review by Susan Granger

You know the feeling when you have a very painful scab on your knee and you keep picking at it? That’s what writer/director Noah Baumbach has created in this bitter, corrosive tale about the dissolution of a marriage. Beginning as ‘cinema verite,’ recalling the 1960s French film movement which featured natural actions and authentic dialogue, it inexplicably then morphs into near-farce and melodic metaphors.

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MARRIAGE STORY – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Noah Baumbach tackles one of everyone’s most difficult experiences in Marriage Story, that is, the dissolution of an intimate relationship that also includes a cherished, young son. Adam Driver as husband Charlie and Scarlett Johansson as wife Nicole delve deep into painful emotional territory in a narrative alternately sweet, even amusing, tender, and, ultimately, agonizing.

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