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Movie Reviews

Hope Movie AWFJ.org review

Above all, Norwegian Oscar submission Hope (original title Håp) is a relationship movie about messy, committed love. Though the film is centered on someone struggling with cancer, writer/director Maria Sødahl doesn’t create a shiny, Hollywood ‘cancer film’. She reveals many aspects of what it’s like to face mortality, from the perspective of a woman and mother, as well …

Movie Reviews

Best Summer Ever SXSW AWFJ.org review

Imagine some truly optimistic folks just deciding to make a movie musical that has a message of love and inclusion with a cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. Now imagine someone giving them the money and the end result is a weird and delightful tossed screen-salad of Crip Camp and High School Musical, …

Movie Reviews

Women is Losers SXSW21 AWFJ.org review

Buoyed by a committed and electric performance by lead Lorenza Izzo as 99% good girl 1% bad girl Celina, writer/director Lissette Feliciano’s Women is Losers places this story of feminist pluck and resilience in late 1960s San Francisco (Feliciano’s current stomping grounds). Catholic school girl Celina (Izzo) is limited by her own parents, who are in an …

Movie Reviews

The Lost Sons SXSW21 AWFJ.org review

In documentarian Ursula MacFarlane’s film The Lost Sons, lead subject Paul Fronczak, a man searching for his own identity, walks the line between curiosity and egocentricity in a way that is often off-putting to the viewer. Arguably, for Macfarlane, Fronczak’s personality is part of what is being examined in this convoluted true-crime story about newborn abduction, …

Movie Reviews

Subjects of Desire SXSW21 AWFJ.org review

A feature documentary debut from Canadian writer/director Jennifer Holness, Subjects of Desire examines the history of beauty for women in the Black community both culturally and aesthetically, and what kinds of impacts that perception of beauty has had on the Black women of today’s America. Subjects of Desire is focused to some degree on the Miss Black …

Movie Reviews

See You Then SXSW21 AWFJ.org review

Trans writer/director Mari Walker’s first narrative feature is a confessionalist character study called See You Then, a story that takes place largely over one evening between two people with a complicated history seeing each other for the first time in over a decade. Kris (Pooya Mohseni) and Naomi (Lynn Chen) were once in a cisgendered relationship. …

Movie Reviews

Underplayed AWFJ.org review

The comment “there’s just something about her I don’t like” written to Canadian DJ and producer Rezz is misogyny disguised as vague criticism. It’s something said over and over in reference to female politicians and female filmmakers, but the film Underplayed shows we can add female electronic musicians to the list of professionals similarly dissed or dismissed. …

Movie Reviews

Raya and the Last Dragon AWFJ.org review

The reliable ‘Disney Magic’ formula is in place but given an appropriate shot in the arm with the studio’s visually flamboyant, culturally expansive newest, Raya and the Last Dragon. It is a welcome return of fan favorite Kelly Marie Tran, who had largely disappeared from public view after harassment by misogynistic Star Wars fan boys. In the …

Movie Reviews

Coming 2 America AWFJ.org review

You may wonder if there is only one white person in Coming 2 America’s cast, if the movie is for you. Well, hopefully you don’t wonder, but revel in a rare example, even in 2021, of a film that centers Black performers. Hopefully you have already read reviews on this new release from Black film journalists. …