FERRARI – Review by Susan Granger

If racing cars is your passion, perhaps you might enjoy Michael Mann’s Ferrari, but I found it frustrating in so many ways. It’s ostensibly a deep dive into the pivotal summer of 1957 when Italian industrialist Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) almost lost control of the prestigious automobile company he and his wife Laura (Penelope Cruz) founded in Modena. Enzo Ferrari is still in mourning; his 24 year-old son died the previous year. Given the opening montage of careening cars, one might assume he died in a fiery crash but – no – eventually, it’s revealed that Dino had muscular dystrophy. Crashes consume other characters later on.

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L’IMMENSITA – Review by Jennifer Green

Emanuele Crialese’s L’Immensità (which translates as The Immensity) memorably captures the look and feel of 1970s Roma with this family drama, which stars a magnificent Penélope Cruz in the role of a loving mother but suffering wife who eventually collapses in a mental breakdown. Her slow decline is witnessed by the vigilant eyes of her pre-teen daughter, Adri (Luana Giuliani), who goes by ‘Andrew’ and feels she (he, from here on out) was born in the wrong body, a reality unacceptable in that time and place.

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OFFICIAL COMPETITION – Review by Diane Carson

Official Competition goes behind-the-scenes with actors and a director. As Official Competition begins, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, multimillionaire Don Humberto Suarez asserts that he lacks prestige. Therefore, he must contribute to something lasting, a bridge with his name by a famous architect or a movie. For that latter option, he purchases the rights to the Nobel prize novel Rivalry, which he doesn’t read.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 10, 2022: OFFICIAL COMPETITION

As long as there have been movies, there have been movies about making movies. Some are serious, some are silly; some are dark, some are light. One thing most have in common is that they always seem to bring those involved that particularly satisfying form of glee that comes from casting a critical light on something you have a complex relationship with. All of that is in play in Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat’s sharp showbiz satire Official Competition.

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OFFICIAL COMPETITION – Review by Liz Whittemore

Turning a Nobel Prize-winning novel into a movie on the whim of a millionaire, “it” director Lola Cuevas pairs two different kinds of actors to breathe life into her version of the story. What could go wrong casting a serious leading actor with a box office action star? Only everything, of course. If you’ve ever been through the rehearsal process with a director that is secure in their vision, Official Competition is for you. The film is a masterclass in writing and acting. It encompasses all the temperamental moments in the history of cinematic genius.

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THE 355 – Review by T. J. Callahan

The 355 is an estrogen filled secret agent thriller the title of which refers to the code name of a female spy who fought for the Patriots during the American Revolution. The 355 stars Jessica Chastain as a rogue CIA operative who is forced to assemble a bevy of beautiful bad mama jamas to help her retrieve a top secret weapon of mass destruction that fell into enemy hands.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS – Review by Martha K Baker

In film after film, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has built a reputation as a man who understands women. With Parallel Mothers, he also proves that women belong not just in the home but also in the world. He layers stories to underscore an understanding of the force that is woman.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK December 24, 2021: PARALLEL MOTHERS

Pedro Almodovar is no stranger to telling compelling stories about complex women, from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to All About My Mother to Volver and more. His streak continues with Parallel Mothers, an emotional drama about connection, coincidence, and the ties that bind us. Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit star as two women whose lives are irrevocably entwined after they give birth in the same hospital on the same day.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Motherhood is central to the plot but there is so much more, including suspenseful Hitchcockian overtones and a dollop of high-end soap opera. But Almodovar also tosses in a political theme this time when Peneolpe Cruz’s 40-ish professional photographer Janis is assigned to shoot a hunky forensic anthropologist. She reaches out to him to see if he can exhume the remains of some relatives who were forced to dig their own graves by fascist murderers during the Spanish Civil War. It’s a rare time that this auteur has brought politics into one of his twisty cinematic equations as the present and past collide.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS (NYFF21) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Writer-director Pedro Almodóvar spins a twisty tale of motherhood, identity, and family amid a historical reckoning. While resolving the drama between two new mothers, the film addresses the issue of persons who were disappeared during the Franco regime in Spain. Parallel Mothers makes us ponder just what motherhood and family entail.

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