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You're familiar with the stereotype of the crazy middle-aged lady with fourteen cats or the hoarder who keeps more pets than she can count. Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo plays just such a woman, sans stereotypes, in the new movie Francine, opening September 12. Award-winning documentary filmmakers Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky (The Patron Saints, Fish Kill Flea) make their fiction debut with Francine. After serving time in prison, Francine (Leo) settles down in a small lakeside town and takes a series of jobs working with animals. Read More
Crickets. They’re all that can be heard above the swish of bathwater as Little Birds opens, and the sound is an apt introduction to the sleepy Salton Sea, CA, town where the film begins. For a couple of restless 15-year-old locals, Lily (Juno Temple) and Alison (Kay Panabaker), the depressing surroundings are just too much to bear. So when a chance encounter with some street kids en route to L.A. offers them a way out, they take it. Read More
  Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud overwhelmed film lovers with the 2007 animated film Persepolis, based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel about growing up in Iran. Chicken with Plums, their second collaboration, is also based on a graphic novel by Satrapi. But Plums is primarily a live-action feature with a robust international cast and the lush aesthetics of a grand old studio film. The directors also employ magical illustrated flourishes that recall the whimsy of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and a gorgeous soundtrack by composer Olivier Brunet. Read More
  Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud overwhelmed film lovers with the 2007 animated film Persepolis, based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel about growing up in Iran. Chicken with Plums, their second collaboration, is also based on a graphic novel by Satrapi. But Plums is primarily a live-action feature with a robust international cast and the lush aesthetics of a grand old studio film. The directors also employ magical illustrated flourishes that recall the whimsy of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and a gorgeous soundtrack by composer Olivier Brunet. Read More
Thought you were over things that go bump in the night? Think again. Director Nick Murphy’s film, The Awakening, had me clutching my poor, unsuspecting friend’s shoulder and involuntarily (but loudly) exclaiming obscenities in the movie theatre. Set in 1921 England after the loss and grief of WWI, the film follows ghost hunter and skeptic Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) as she takes on her most difficult case yet. Read More
With all of the political and economic issues going on in America, it’s hard to remember that there are much bigger things going on out there. There are countries trapped in violent civil wars, drugs trafficking and people are dying every day.   This is where We Women Warriors comes into play. It opens our eyes (and hearts) to the truly dangerous issues going on in Colombia. There’s a civil conflict between three groups, the actual Colombian government, paramilitary groups and guerilla fighters. We Women Warriors isn’t preachy or overly violent. Read More
It didn't help that I saw the ironically titled Celeste and Jesse Forever post break-up, so consider that a warning. If the humor hadn't consisted of jacking off with a piece of baby corn and a gay Elijah Wood, I would have desperately sought out the theater's nearest exit to escape the sweaty interior of the on-screen friendship. Thank goddess some people are just as perverted as I am. Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are a couple in the process of a divorce that can't seem to stay away from each other. Read More
  It’s not exactly the popcorn action flick you think of when you hear the phrase “summer movie,” but Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom may be one of the most evocative portrayals of that season that I’ve seen. It takes place in summer 1965 on a craggy New England island, and you can practically smell the salty sea air through the screen. The film centers on two unlikely lovebirds: preteens Sam Shakusky (an orphan and a dedicated “Khaki Scout” played by Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (a morose, soft-spoken girl played by Kara Hayward). Read More
By Lainna Fader Drew Denny is a master of laughing through tears. As she sat on my couch last month recounting her father’s last days before succumbing to pancreatic cancer and other painful memories from her childhood, she had the biggest smile on her face. That’s just how Denny operates—when given the choice to laugh or cry, she chooses to laugh. Read More
By Nadia Chaudhury Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl moves in with boy, boy proposes to girl, girl and boy plan wedding, boy dumps girl, girl attempts to find self. This isn’t your typical romantic comedy, where everything works out perfectly. This is Lola Versus. Helmed by director-writer Daryl Wein and his writing partner/significant other Zoe Lister-Jones, the New York-based Lola Versus positions itself as the raw and realistic antidote to the multitudes of shiny romantic-comedies that invade theaters. Read More