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ANNIHILATION Film Review: Alien Paradise or Land of Confusion?

The movie Annihilation is a strange, gloriously ambiguous visual wonder. It is writer/director Alex Garland’s interpretation of Jeff VanderMeer’s Nebula-award-winning first novel in the Southern Reach Trilogy.  There are elements of the story that recall a wide variety of what has come before, from Predator, Sunshine (for which Garland was the screenwriter), Apocalypse Now, and …

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A Fantastic Woman Film Review & Interviews: This Historic Oscar Nominee is a Gorgeous Study in Grief

It is true the Academy Awards are not the ultimate arbiter of quality and longevity of a film.  You need but look to the history of winners and losers to confirm that.  However, the Best Foreign Language Films is one category where the Oscars gets closer.  Nearly all nominees are multiple award winners with buzz …

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Bilal: A New Breed of Hero Film Review-It takes a Muslim history lesson to create inclusion around here

Opening this week in theaters around the US is 3D animated feature Bilal: A New Breed of Hero, which is based on the story of real-life hero Bilal ibn Rabah, a warrior and follower of Mohammed from around 632 AD, in the early days of Islam.  Co-directed by Ayman Jumal and Khurram H. Alavi, it …

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In honor of being invited to join AWFJ, the Top 10 Movies of 2017, as directed by women!

On this first day of 2018, I’m thrilled to announce my addition as a member of AWFJ, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.  An official invitation and close scrutiny of my work was required, and I’m quite thrilled I made the cut, and that I’m now part of such a great, talented group of female …

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Call Me By Your Name Review: A Transcendent Tale of Two Men in Love

This weekend, Call Me By Your Name, the spellbinding meditation on coming-of-age as a gay young man in 80s rural Italy lands in art houses around the country.  It is a lyrical, mesmerizing, experience at the cinema that numbers among the best movies of the year. It is also one of the most moving portrayals …

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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Review- The Character Development is Strong With This One

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is so good that it will thrill and surprise everyone from the first generation of fans to its newest recruit. It reaffirm to all the power of the force. This film, as written and directed by Rian Johnson, moves the saga forward dramatically, but in truth, it is all about character. …

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GET OUT, BLADE RUNNER 2049, and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI win big in the 2017 WAFCA Awards

This year’s WAFCA Award winners were announced today.  When I opened my super-secret email letting the critics who are part of the Washington Area Film Critics Association know about the winners, I was pretty stunned.  I voted for Get Out as Best Film, but I didn’t imagine many of my colleagues would.  For me, the …

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CREATING COCO: An interview with Pixar’s Jason Katz, Story Supervisor

The new Pixar film Coco speaks about ancestral ties, remembrance, and celebration. It is a story that follows young musician Miguel on his journey into the Land of the Dead to solve a family mystery, embrace his passion for music, and create his own destiny. I interviewed Story Supervisor Jason Katz, who has had a hand in …

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