MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 21, 2018: COLETTE

Keira Knightley shines as the star of Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” a beautifully realized biopic about the early years of the celebrated French writer. Knightly immerses herself in the role, bringing Colette’s personal struggles — and self-awakening — vividly to life within the lavish Belle Epoche environs established with gorgeous sets, costumes and cimenatography.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 10, 2018: SKATE KITCHEN

motw logo 1-35That Crystal Moselle’s Skate Kitchen often feels more like a documentary than a scripted drama is no surprise, given Moselle’s experience as a documaker and her cast of real-life NYC skateboarders playing fictionalized versions of themselves. The film delivers its story about female friendship with verve and authenticity.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 3, 1018: NIGHT COMES ON

motw logo 1-35Brilliantly authentic performances and a poignant, timely story, make Jordana Spiro’s superb debut feature a powerful drama about pain, regret, purpose, and sisterhood. It is the coming of age of a young Black woman named Angel (Dominique Fishback) whose once happy childhood fell victim to drugs and violence, leaving her angry and alone.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 20, 2018: 93Queen

motw logo 1-35Paula Eiselt’s documentary follows Rachel ‘Ruchie’ Freier, an Orthodox Jewish wife, mother and lawyer, as she launches an all-female ambulance corps to serve women of NY’s Hasidic community in Brooklyn. The result is a compelling glimpse inside an insular community and a fascinating portrait of a determined feminist.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 29, 2018: LEAVE NO TRACE

motw logo 1-35Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace is a gripping drama about a teenage girl living with her dissident father in survivalist mode in the woods, shunning society until authorities force them to enter the mainstream and conform. Granik’s subtle style creates an environment of fear, without relying on violence or dystopian elements.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 15, 2018: WESTWOOD: PUNK, ICON, ACTIVIST

motw logo 1-35Some iconic personalities are so much larger than life that it’s easy to forget they’re real people — which makes getting to know the person behind the personality fascinating. Such is the promise, and payoff, of Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, Lorna Tucker’s insightful documentary about English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 25, 2018: MARY SHELLEY

motw logo 1-35Saudi filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour’s biopic about Frankenstein author Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s romance with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley — and her struggle to be recognized as a female author — is a compelling, atmospheric, truth-based tale of a truly gifted woman who courageously rebelled against the repressive customs of her day. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 11, 2018: MOUNTAIN

motw logo 1-35Australian filmmaker Jennifer Peedom’s Mountain is a monumental essay documentary that combines soaring cinematography with poetically philosophical narration and an uplifting score to deliver a mesmerizing meditative treatise on how humans interact with and experience Earth’s prime peaks. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 2, 2018: A FANTASTIC WOMAN

motw logo 1-35Chile’s Oscar-nominated “A Fantastic Woman” is a twist on 1950’s movies about women in torture who often felt invisible, as though all that concerned them was good housekeeping. In this film, our heroine is a trans woman, played by a trans actress, Daniela Vega, who is struggling to be seen for who she is and all that she is. Continue reading…

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