It’s been 13 years since James Cameron’s Avatar was released. And it’s well worth the wait to see his $350 million Avatar: The Way of Water, demonstrating how he uses cinematic technology to create a new, fantastical Na’vi realm on a distant moon called Pandora. Working with James Cameron, screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have developed an emotional arc for each motion-captured character. The result is compelling, fully digital sci-fi, highlighted by cinematographer Russell Carpenter’s dazzling visual effects, particularly the breathtaking deep-sea sequences.Read more
Avatar: The Way of Water highlights spectacle plus heady issues. For thirteen years, the much-anticipated sequel to Avatar has required intensive production work. Now, Avatar: The Way of Water rewards the long wait with an extravaganza of special effects cinematic spectacle. And as the title announces, a great deal of action takes place in and around water with thrilling play, risky adventures, and rousing combat.Read more
In Chicago in 1968, housewife Joy Griffin watches the Democratic National Convention on television. She sees police officers, their heads capped in “blue brain buckets,” beat protesters against the Vietnam War. The noisy news establishes the political climate in 1968, but whispers surround the issue of abortion in the pre-Roe era of Call Jane, a well realized look at reproductive history.Read more
Based on the true story of the Jane Collective, a group of young feminist activists who facilitated underground abortions in the Chicago area in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Phyllis Nagy’s heartfelt Call Jane illustrates, clearly and empathetically, why access to safe, affordable abortions is an essential aspect of female healthcare. The movie may take place 50-plus years ago, but in a world where the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the issue has never felt more timely.Read more
As an accessible film with a solid lead performance, Call Jane is an important addition to the Janes’ story and a reminder of the power of collective action. It’s hard not to feel sorrow and anger when, at the end, the Janes celebrate Roe v. Wade and the dissolution of the group. But it’s also a call to action.Read more
The timely abortion rights film Call Jane, directed by Phyllis Nagy, starts off in Chicago in 1968, as the city and the nation are teetering on the brink of violent political upheaval. We meet a well-off suburban housewife Joy Griffin (Elizabeth Banks, who is the stand-out in the cast) leads an ordinary life with her husband and tween daughter. But when Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening condition, she must navigate a medical establishment unwilling to help. She then finds learns about the “Janes,” an underground organization of women who provide Joy with a safer alternative — and in the process — changes her life.Read more
Sometimes, the illusion of having it all together is an art in survivor subterfuge, especially when you are a kingfisher in a small Massachusetts coastal town where the prime properties are the big catch. The Good House is a bittersweet dramedy starring Sigourney Weaver as Hildy Good, a well-educated local New England real estate agent whose story shows us how the ignored loose ends of our lives can be the undoing of the fabric that holds us together, and that the value of old and real friendships that stand the test of time is a priceless commodity to preserve at all costs.Read more
Call Jane is inspired by the work of the underground activist group Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberationl. From 1968 to 1973, the group helped thousands of women to get pre-Roe V Wade abortions. Directed by Phillis Nagy, the film stars Elizabeth Banks as suburban housewife who becomes involved helping members of the organization, aka The Janes, after they helped her to end a life-threatening pregnancy.
Several documentaries and narratives have told the story of these women or used the organizaation as a backdrop, but Call Jane has the highest profile yet, featuring A-list talent that includes Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, and Wunmi Mosaku.
Call Jane tells the story of sisterhood among a group of women aptly called “The Janes.” They provided abortions at a time when an all-male Supreme Court forbade women from getting them legally. The film is set in the late 1960s, but the story couldn’t be more timely today with the Supreme Court considering rolling back what Roe v. Wade accomplished.Read more
The trouble with My Salinger Year isn’t that it’s a terrible movie–it’s not. It’s that its version of Joanna Rakoff ‘s novel is so profoundly uninteresting; earnest, naïve, bright without being especially perceptive and untested by the kind of experiences that fiction writers use to force such unformed characters to develop.Read more