MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 27, 2020: TAPE

At times almost painfully voyeuristic — which is the entire point — Deborah Kampmeier’s Tape tells the powerful #MeToo story of two aspiring actresses whose ambitions put them in the crosshairs of a manipulative filmmaker. One is out for revenge, while the other is still hoping that she’s getting her big break. As their stories collide, truths are revealed.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 20, 2020: BLOW THE MAN DOWN

A satisfying modern noir, with juicy twists, turns, and betrayals and compelling characters. The fact that almost all of those characters are female — and many of them senior citizens — sets Blow the Man Down apart. It’s not often that we get to see a group of actresses like this dig into such an original story; that they do it so well seems like a sign of great things to come from directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 13, 2020: LOST GIRLS

Featuring a fearless star performance from Amy Ryan, documentary veteran Liz Garbus’ first dramatic feature, Lost Girls, is a wrenching story about a mother’s search for truth — and justice. It’s based on the real-life story of Mari Gilbert, a New York woman whose dogged determination to find out what happened to her missing daughter led to the discovery of serial killings in Long Island.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 2, 2020: SWALLOW

Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ tense drama Swallow — about a repressed young wife who finds herself compelled to eat unusual and even dangerous things — gives new meaning to the phrase “eating your feelings.” Desperate to please her handsome husband and his wealthy parents, Hunter (Haley Bennett) tries to create the perfect life in their designer-ready home. But things are far from perfect under the surface.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 28, 2020: PREMATURE

Sensitive and soulful, Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Premature is a poignant portrait of first love, from the thrill of the early days to the agony of conflict and parting. Set in Harlem, it centers on 17-year-old Ayanna (Zora Howard, who also co-wrote the script with Green), who falls for older music producer Isaiah (Joshua Boone) the summer before she’s planning to leave NYC for Bucknell University.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 21, 2020: THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Help comes from unexpected places when needed the most in The Kindness of Strangers, Lone Scherfig’s heartfelt drama about a handful of people whose lives intersect amid the bustling anonymity of New York City. Centering on the plight of a woman who flees an abusive marriage with her two young sons, the narrative shows how circumstances — and life itself — can turn on a dime.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 14, 2020: ORDINARY LOVE

There’s a reason why more movies are about weddings than marriages. It’s easier to tie up a story with bells ringing and happy “I do”s than to accurately depict the beautifully complicated thing that is a long-term committed relationship — especially the kind of real, relatable, warts-and-all relationship many people actually live out. But Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Ordinary Love accomplishes that feat with intimate grace, thanks to honest storytelling and heartbreaking performances by Liam Neeson and Leslie Manville.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 7, 2020: A SIMPLE WEDDING

If you were to blend My Big Fat Greek Wedding with The Big Sick — and add a dash of Crazy Rich Asians — you might end up with something close to A Simple Wedding, Sara Zandieh‘s entertaining romcom about a thirtysomething Iranian American woman who wants to find love on her own terms.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 31, 2020: THE ASSISTANT

Not all #MeToo moments are shocking or dramatic; one of the most terrible things about the culture that’s fostered so much abuse, fear, and doubt is its very insidiousness. All of that is made quite clear in The Assistant, writer/director Kitty Green’s eye-opening drama about a day in the life of an entry-level Hollywood hopeful.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 24, 2020: BEANPOLE

Settings don’t get much bleaker than 1945 Leningrad, decimated after the ravages of WWII, but even the darkest times have moments of intimacy and beauty in Kantemir Balagov’s spare, unflinching Russian drama Beanpole. The film tells the story of the intense, complicated friendship between gangly, awkward Iya — the titular Beanpole — and impulsive, yearning Masha as they struggle to find happiness in a post-war world.

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