THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD – Brandy McDonnell reviews

The ever-versatile Oscar nominee Dev Patel leads a terrifically talented troupe selected through colorblind or nontraditional casting, a practice still more common in modern-day theater than filmmaking. It’s refreshingly lovely to see outstanding actors of color like Patel, Benedict Wong and Nikki Amuka-Bird bring the classic novel’s characters to life.

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THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD – Review by Martha K Baker

Director Iannucci and writer Simon Blackwell are known for cursing and biting satire. Here, however, they lean on Dickens. Cramming a beloved, 800-pp. novel into a 2-hour film does not work totally. The cast may have had fun exercising, but the audience will be left longing for a few of Iannucci’s signature F-bombs to spice up this interpretation.

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WOMEN MAKE FILM – Review by Diane Carson

In Women Make Film, writer/director Mark Cousins has shouldered a monumental task. First, he promises A New Road Movie Through Cinema by looking “at film through the eyes of women filmmakers.” Second, he’ll accomplish this in forty chapters, not devoted to directors’ lives, not chronologically organized, and not exploring ways women are different from male filmmakers, though that emerges implicitly.

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THE DEAD DON’T DIE – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Between the nifty way the zombies collapse into piles of ash when beheaded and the committed performances by Tilda Swinton, playing a Scottish mortician and samurai warrior, and Tom Waits, as a cantankerous hermit determined to stay out of the carnage, “The Dead Don’t Die” offers just barely enough deadpan humor and quirky characters to keep it interesting until the credits roll.

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THE SOUVENIR – Review by Diane Carson

Some stories are important to tell but boring in their unfolding. That’s how I felt watching Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir. In it, part-time photographer and aspiring filmmaker Julie falls under the spell of ne’er-do-well, heroin addict Anthony. She’s from wealth, lives in posh Knightsbridge, London; he’s a leech who says he works for the Foreign Office.

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SPOTLIGHT April 2018: Lynne Ramsey, Glaswegian, Director of YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

awfj spotlight black littleScottish auteur Lynne Ramsay has created distinctively lyrical, deeply disturbing, and always unforgettable films about tormented people. Many film buffs consider her to be one of the greatest living film directors. Her latest, You Were Never Really Here opens this month. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 7 – 14: LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD

motw logo 1-35The word indefatigable may well have been fashioned for the likes of Gertrude Bell. At a time, when women were largely confined to the domestic sphere, Bell climbed mountains, rode camels, palled about with Lawrence of Arabia, and penned letters, mountains of them, all the while dressed in impeccable fashion.Continue reading…

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