FIRST MAN – Review by Susan Granger

Based on James R. Hansen’s First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong (2005), the film is adapted as a docudrama by Josh Singer and cinematographer Linus Sandgren, focusing on Apollo 11, America’s first successful manned mission to the moon, making good on Pres. John K. Kennedy’s vision for the future and “a giant leap for mankind.”

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FIRST MAN – Review by Brandy McDonnell

The movie’s pre-release controversy over Chazelle’s decision not to include a scene of Armstrong planting an American flag on the Moon – which in the context of the film would be incredibly out of place – illustrates just how valuable what the filmmaker is doing with “First Man”: allowing us to know one of our most revered American icons as someone who was a man, first.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, December 5 – December 9, 2016: La La Land

La La Land, the latest from director Damien Chazelle, is an homage to the acid-bright technicolor extravaganzas of old Hollywood. Romantic and swoony to be sure, but leavened with a modernist twist that cuts the schmaltz. Opening Dec. 9, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is La La Land. Read on…

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“Lars and The Real Girl,” review by Susan Granger

Who would think that the story of reclusive man and his mail-order sex doll would make a remarkably sensitive and tender, PG-13 romantic comedy? Shy, withdrawn Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) lives a lonely existence in a sparsely furnished garage room next to his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and pregnant sister-in-law Karen’s (Emily Mortimer) clapboard home in a nameless Midwestern town.

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