MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 9, 2018: HERE AND NOW

motw logo 1-35Introspective and contemplative, Fabien Constant’s drama Here and Now follows talented singer Vivienne (Sarah Jessica Parker) through roughly 24 hours after she’s diagnosed with a serious form of brain cancer and learns she may have no more than 14 months left to live. With everything from her upcoming tour to her time with her teenage daughter now up in the air, Vivienne struggles to come to terms with this unexpected twist of fate.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, November 2, 2018: WHAT THEY HAD

motw logo 1-35What They Had, the first feature from actress-turned-writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, is a stirring family drama in which adult siblings, Bridget (Hilary Swank) and Nick (Michael Shannon) are trying to cope with their mother’s (Blythe Danner) progressive dementia and their father’s (Robert Forster) denial of her disability. Chomko’s well-crafted script and sensitive direction, and the superb performances from the stellar ensemble bring a balance of heartbreak and humor to this painful and entirely relatable situation.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, October 26, 2018: LIYANA

motw logo 1-35Profound and poignant, the documentary affirms the value of story and storytelling as emotional relief and an element in healing for those who’ve been traumatized — the five orphaned children followed in this extraordinary documentary and, by extension, the survivors of war, rape, genocide, drought, starvation, extreme poverty and other disasters around the globe. Movies can matter. Liyana clearly does.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 12, 2018: SADIE

motw logo 1-35Moody and pensive, Megan Griffiths’ Sadie isn’t your typical coming-of-age drama. It centers on 13-year-old Sadie (Sophia Mitri Schloss), who’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep her family together, despite her soldier father’s long deployment overseas and her mother, Rae’s (Melanie Lynskey), increasing loneliness and dissatisfaction with her long-distance marriage. Schloss and Lynskey deliver heart wrenching performances in this strikingly femme-centric film which shoots an arrow right into the heart of domestic disruption that results from faraway wars.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 5, 2018: ALL ABOUT NINA

motw logo 1-35Propelled by a raw, powerful performance from star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eva Vives’ debut feature All About Nina couldn’t be more timely or relevant. The story of a caustic stand-up comic whose drunken one-night stands and other self-destructive choices mask heartbreaking pain, it will resonate deeply with anyone who’s ever been afraid to let someone else get close.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 28, 2018: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

“Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey,” says Jane Fonda in Susan Lacy’s revealing, deeply personal documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and — after hearing stories she’s told for the previous two hours — it’s impossible to disagree. Fonda’s revelatory reflections on her life as actress and activist make it clear that giving herself permission to be imperfect let her become her happiest self.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 21, 2018: COLETTE

Keira Knightley shines as the star of Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” a beautifully realized biopic about the early years of the celebrated French writer. Knightly immerses herself in the role, bringing Colette’s personal struggles — and self-awakening — vividly to life within the lavish Belle Epoche environs established with gorgeous sets, costumes and cimenatography.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 14, 2018: A HAPPENING OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS

Judy Greer is no slouch at making people laugh; as an actress.. A Happening of Monumental Proportions marks her debut behind the camera, directing others as they go about the serious business of creating humor. The result is a quirky, charming comedy about several Los Angelenos whose lives intersect over the course of a single day.

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