Movies

IF MRS. AMERICA on FX whet your appetite for boundary-busting scenes from feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s life, then The Glorias, based on Steinem’s memoir, My Life on the Road, should be next on your watch list. Starring Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Lulu Wilson, Alicia Vikander, and Julianne Moore as different-aged Steinems who occasionally interact with each other at pivotal moments, the biopic also boasts A-list supporting actors including Bette Midler as U.S. Representative Bella Abzug and Janelle Monáe as Ms. magazine co-founder Dorothy Pittman Hughes. Poignant and...

Trigger Warning: scenes in film of child sexual exploitation discussed.  Spoiler Alert! Pivotal scenes mentioned.  Cuties (2020) was written and directed by Maimouna Doucoure, a French-Senegalese filmmaker. The film is described as a coming-of-age drama starring Fathia Youssouf as the main character, Amy, an eleven-year-old Senegalese immigrant. Unsatisfied with the prayer, piety and religious customs of her Muslim culture, Amy becomes obsessed with her neighbor Angelica (Medina El Aidi-Azouni). At school, Amy finds that Angelica is a member of a twerking dance troupe called ‘Cuties,’ which glares...
BlackbirdDirected by Roger MichellOut September 18 Minutes into Blackbird, we know how it will end: Lily (Susan Sarandon) is going to die. Diagnosed with a terminal illness that will cause gradual physical deterioration, Lily decides that she’d rather take her death into her own hands—she’s going to swallow a lethal combination of pills. But first, she wants her whole family to visit for one last weekend. Lily and her husband are joined by her longtime best friend, Liz (Lindsay Duncan), and her two clashing daughters, the...
ANTEBELLUMWritten and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher RenzOut September 18 Janelle Monáe stars as the author and academic Veronica Hensley in Antebellum, the latest horror movie produced by the team behind Jordan Peele's Get Out and Us. We first see her identified, however, as Eden, and in very different circumstances: as an enslaved woman in the Antebellum South. Monáe, who previously appeared in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, gives us another incredible performance in Antebellum. Her ability to disappear into her character and perform within two different time...
HBO Max’s Unpregnant isn’t a typical buddy comedy; it’s not your average film about an abortion, either. When college-bound Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) discovers she’s pregnant, it’s a no brainer: she doesn’t want to be. Unfortunately, she learns early on that the nearest clinic that doesn’t require parental consent is several states away, and she can’t exactly tell her parents or her gossip-obsessed group of friends. Enter Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), her oddball ex-best friend…and possibly the only person Veronica can turn to. “I feel like making a movie...
FIRST ONE INWritten and directed by Gina O'BrienOut now After a nationally televised scandal rocks her world, realtor and reality show contestant Madi Cooke (Kat Foster) loses the contest, her job, and her peace of mind, becoming infamous for accidentally killing an endangered species. In an attempt to get her life back together, Madi rebrands herself and applies for a job at a real estate agency run by a tennis-crazed boss, Bobbi Mason (Georgia King). Madi is hired on one condition: that she help Bobbi win...

Regina King’s movie entitled “One Night in Miami” premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Monday night. The film, based on Kemp Powers’ play of the same name, follows Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke as they celebrate Clay's win over Sonny Liston in February 1964. “One Night in Miami” made history not only as King’s directorial debut, but also as the first premiere directed by a Black woman in the festival's 88 year history.  The Venice Film Festival, much like their international...
MORGANA Written and Directed by Isabel Peppard and Josie HessOut August 21 Morgana isn’t your typical porn documentary, but its subject isn’t your typical pornographer. After decades of married misery, Morgana Muses decided to hire an escort for one night of pleasure before committing suicide. But that night brought her back to life and kicked off a surprising mid-life anti-crisis. Inspired by porn director Petra Joy, Muses made a short, explicit film about her awakening, which blossomed into a groundbreaking career as an award-winning adult performer,...
The Berlin International Film Festival will no longer feature gendered acting awards, an August 24 press release stated. Instead of the traditional Best Actress and Best Actor awards, nominees at the 2021 festival can win the “Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance” or the “Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance.”  This announcement made by the festival’s directors, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, marks the first use of gender neutral awards at an international festival. The directors said, via press release, “We believe that not separating the...
While in middle school, I found myself in the beam of a youth group chaperone’s flashlight while dancing “too close” to a boy in a Michigan church. “Leave room for Jesus!” the chaperone shouted at us through the crowd of fellow awkward 13-year-olds. The incident was illuminating in more ways than one: it got me thinking about how parts of me didn’t belong in the world of religious repression, but it was also just funny as hell. Which is how I would describe the experience of...