HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES – Review by Susan Granger

When the original Hunger Games devoured the silver screen in 2012, I vividly remember the savage power of its pop culture message about formidable female empowerment, particularly in contrast with its banal, dull, boring prequel Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Directed by Francis Lawrence, this epic, tri-part dystopian dirge is set 64 years before the original trilogy. The essence of what’s lacking in this franchise film: Katniss Everdeen, the resourceful, heroic character embodied by charismatic Jennifer Lawrence.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 29, 2023: SHE CAME TO ME

If the idea of Marisa Tomei as a romance-addicted tugboat captain sounds like your cup of tea, then grab the popcorn and settle in for Rebecca Miller’s She Came to Me, a quirky, well-acted dramedy about the intersecting lives of two families of New Yorkers and the people in their orbit. By turns heartfelt and slightly absurdist, it’s ultimately the kind of cinematic escape from the real world that we all sometimes need.

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SHE CAME TO ME – Review by Loren King

Writer and filmmaker Rebecca Miller’s first film since the too-little-seen Maggie’s Plan starring Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore and Ethan Hawke in 2015, She Came to Me is a charming fairy tale about finding romance in a magical New York. In her films and works of literature, Miller has always delivered a strong personal voice and characters, particularly women, that are individual, flawed and fully human.

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SHE CAME TO ME – Review by Sherin Nicole

I’m in an uncertain place with She Came to Me, the slightly strange twist on romantic fiction by writer/director Rebecca Miller. There is an ostensible story and its themes—those are as clear as the hors d’oeuvres tray at a party. Yet there is an infusion of subtext that causes me to question the recipe. Perhaps that incongruity is leaving me wondering what to say. You could call me Schrödinger’s Critic—a state of neither/nor I find myself pondering more and more.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Rebecca Miller’s SHE CAME TO ME to be released via Vertical – Brandy McDonnell reports

Global independent distributor Vertical has secured U.S. rights to the romantic comedy She Came to Me, which had its world premiere in February as the opening night selection for the 2023 Berlin Film Festival. Vertical is planning a theatrical release for the comedy about love in all its forms. Set in the bustling metropolis of New York City, She Came to Me follows Steven Lauddem (Peter Dinklage), a composer who is plagued by a creative block that leaves him unable to finish the score for his big comeback opera.

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CYRANO – Review by April Neale

Director Joe Wright‘s Cyrano is a feast for the eyes. The latest story is based loosely on the life of Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, a French novelist, playwright, epistolarian, and duelist from the 1600s. In 1897, the French poet Edmond Rostand published a play, Cyrano de Bergerac, also based in broad strokes on Cyrano’s life. Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac and Wright’s version are both tragedies, with loss at every turn.

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CYRANO – Review by Susan Granger

It’s not about the nose! Director Joe Wright re-imagines Edmund Rostand’s 1897 poetic drama Cyrano de Bergerac about a swashbuckling poet/solider with self-esteem issues. In her musical adaptation of the French classic love story, Erika Schmidt discards the gigantic nose as an impediment and substitutes short stature. Cyrano is embodied by Peter Dinklage.

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CYRANO – Review by Diane Carson

Cyrano charms and surprises with songs, dances, and duels. Confirming, again, that revered stories attract, perhaps even need, updates, director Joe Wright’s reinterpretation of Cyrano both charms and surprises. Its unexpected tone and style, replete with songs, dances, and duels, features the amazingly versatile Peter Dinklage as the love-struck but insecure poet Cyrano de Bergerac longing for the beautiful Roxanne. He’s certain his height precludes any romantic success. Familiarity with Edmond Rostand’s legendary 1897 story may help viewers immerse themselves in this version, but the acting and action, the lavish art direction and superb staging (shot in Noto, Sicily) make this adaptation a triumph.

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CYRANO – Review by Joan Amenn

Sometimes a film takes a second viewing to make you aware of how much it moves you. If you have a rather cynical view of romance, perhaps, “Cyrano” (2021) won’t be your cup of tea. Or you might find yourself humming one of the tunes from the soundtrack days later and realize this very romantic film has worked itself through your thorny defenses despite yourself. I confess I am in the latter camp.

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CYRANO – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Cyrano, a musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s famous tragic romance, is as besotted with language as is its protagonist, a man enraptured with a woman he thinks won’t love him back. Besotted and enraptured might seem heady words nowadays, but heightened wordplay is the lingua franca of this film’s Paris of 1640, where people admire the cut of a barb as much as swordsmanship.

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