MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 27, 2020: AMMONITE

Human connection brings warmth and joy to a bleak time and place in Francis Lee’s Ammonite, which centers on renowned British paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and her relationship with a woman named Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan). While its details may be more speculation than fact, there’s no denying its message about the transformative power of kinship and attraction.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 20, 2020: ANTIGONE

Quebecois writer/director Sophie Deraspe brings fresh life to ancient source material with Antigone, her powerful update of Sophocles’ classic play. Trading a Greek chorus for smartphone-wielding teens and city-state rivalries for clashes related to gang loyalty, it centers on the smart, resourceful titular teen, played rivetingly by Nahema Ricci.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 13, 2020: CODED BIAS

Designed largely by white men, it turns out that a lot of facial-recognition programs are best at recognizing…white men. So when those technologies are used to scan the faces of women and people of color, they’re far more likely to make incorrect associations and conclusions. Inconvenient if you want to use your face to open a biometric lock; potentially devastating if a database suggests you’re a terrorist.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 6, 2020: PROXIMA

Alice Winocour’s drama Proxima may be about a woman who’s getting ready to head to space, but it’s the very earthly ties that bind us to this planet — and to each other — that are at the heart of this thoughtful film. Starring Eva Green as French astronaut Sarah Loreau, Proxima explores the intersection of professional ambition and motherhood in a way that will ring true for anyone who’s ever had to balance personal and professional demands.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 30, 2020 – US KIDS

If there’s any upside to the turmoil and tragedy that the United States — and the world — has been experiencing in recent years, it’s the fact that it’s shaping and motivating a powerful surge of youth activism. While it’s certainly not fair for society to look to teenagers to solve problems caused by generations of adults, there’s no denying the passion, drive, and ingenuity of change-makers like Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and the Parkland shooting survivors. Filmmaker Kim A. Snyder introduces us to several of the latter in her moving documentary Us Kids.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 23, 2020: ON THE ROCKS

On the Rocks feels a bit like what you’d get if Woody Allen and Wes Anderson made a movie together — only with a lot more feminine energy, empathy, and understanding. Sofia Coppola’s dramedy tackles modern marriage, motherhood, career uncertainty, and parent/adult child relationships with a light touch and strong performances from a talented cast.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, October 16, 2020: YELLOW ROSE

Both a timely drama about the harsh nature of U.S. immigration policy and its impact on families, and a poignant coming-of-age story, Diane Paragas’ semi-autobiographical first feature Yellow Rose centers on a talented Filipina teenager living in Texas whose love of country music is one of the few things she has left after her world abruptly crumbles around her.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 9, 2020: THE GLORIAS

Modern feminism owes a lot to Gloria Steinem, and director Julie Taymor revels in explaining why in The Glorias, her creative biopic about a woman who has fought tirelessly throughout her life for the rights of all women. Taking the title of Steinem’s autobiography — My Life on the Road — literally, Taymor centers her story on a bus on which primary passengers are Steinem at different ages: child (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), young teen (Lulu Wilson), young woman (Alicia Vikander), and mature activist (Julianne Moore).

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 18, 2020: SIBYL

The line between life and art becomes very blurred in Sibyl, French feminist filmmaker Justine Triet’s intimate, ethically complex drama about the titular Sibyl (Virginie Efira), an emotionally fragile psychotherapist who finds inspiration for her novel in her patient’s complicated life. But can she deal with her own insecurities and past entanglements?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 11, 2020: MULAN

This isn’t one of Disney’s shot-for-shot, song-for-song live-action remakes. Rather, Niki Caro’s Mulan is a serious, often-intense reimagining of the ancient Chinese ballad that also inspired the studio’s 1998 animated hit. More Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon than Disney Princess story, it’s a beautifully filmed epic that gives Hua Mulan increased agency and confidence. Mulan is a hero who may hail from olden times, but speaks to our own.

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