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Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021 Encounter AWFJ.org Review

An alien threat leads decorated soldier Malik (Riz Ahmed) to kidnap his sons Jay (Lucian-River Chauhan) and Bobby (Aditya Geddada) and take them across the Southwest desert highways in Encounter, the latest genre-bender by English director Michael Pearce. The film, which is also co-written by Pearce, affirms him as a talent with vision, showing he has …

Movie Reviews

AWFJ.org Little Girl Review

Chances are, if you know a lot of children, you probably know a young child who already strays from the “norm”. With that kid, It’s pretty hard not to root for their acceptance, or their ability to go about life just as they are, yes? Now imagine the cutest, sweetest, most genuine, openhearted child you …

Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021 Night Raiders Review

The first words uttered in voiceover in Canadian Cree and Metis writer/director Danis Goulet’s feature debut, Night Raiders, are “We knew they would come for us like they always have before.” Though rooted in dystopian storytelling that recalls some darker recent YA literature, the film is actually right out of the nightmares and collective memories of …

Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021 Mothering Sunday Review

Part Bridgerton, part Downton Abbey, director Eva Husson’s steamy take on the Hawthorne Prize winning novella Mothering Sunday is equally lush and bleak as it examines love and loss in post WW1 England through the eyes of orphan, maid, and aspiring writer Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young). The film largely taking place on March 30th, 1924, on Jane’s day off …

Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021: Violet AWFJ.org Review

What’s the worst that can happen? That’s not a question the voices inside your head will likely answer, because doing so might end the self criticism, judgment, and worry that play like a tape loop in your brain. That isn’t something studio executive Violet Calder (Olivia Munn) has figured out in the film Violet, from actor …

Movie Reviews

Language Lessons AWFJ.org Review

As the winner of the 2021 SXSW Narrative Spotlight Audience Award and the feature directing debut of Natalie Morales, there was a lot of buzz for pandemic indie Language Lessons. Co-starring Mark Duplass, who also partnered with Morales in writing the script, the film is the latest example of the screenlife film genre, in which all …

Movie Reviews

Candyman AWFJ.org Review

As a critic who seeks to amplify female filmmakers, especially intersectional ones when they get a chance in the too often pale and male world of Hollywood, I was excited to see director and co-writer Nia DaCosta’s fresh take on a beloved classic. It is only DaCosta’s second outing as feature director. Candyman, a film whose …

Movie Reviews

Faya Dayi AWFJ.org review

The feature debut of Mexican Ethiopian filmmaker Jessica Bashir, Faya Dayi immerses its audience in a visually rich, hypnotic world that feels as hallucinogenic, languid, and euphoric as a drug trip. Centered in rural Ethiopia, the documentary transcends traditional storytelling as it relays the hopes and challenges of Ethiopians trapped working in the Khat trade. The name …

Movie Reviews

Curiosa AWFJ.org Review

Lou Jeunet’s woefully off-target and ponderously slow French Curiosa aims for historical illumination, sex positivity, and strong feminist and feminine energy, and misses the mark in nearly every way. I’m all for sexy fun couched in a historically-influenced story, especially when it’s delivered in such a beautiful palette and accompanied by women so well appointed in costume, …