The acting in this film is so compelling that you simply see the lead character the way she sees herself. The director creates such a complete world that the truth of this “true story” resonates deep in the heart. Brandon is every “misfit” who ever struggled for acceptance. More on BOYS DON'T CRY.
Award-winning documentary about the children of Calcutta’s neighborhood sex workers compellingly blurs the line between art & empathy. The 8 kids at the center of the film are all bright-eyed & engaging. While teaching them about photography, Briski also tries to convince their mothers to send them to school. More on BORN INTO BROTHELS.
Teenage girl slides inexorably into a sexual relationship with her teacher. An important story which deserves to be well told, but in this case everything is off. The actors all have so much integrity that you want to believe the story, but it’s burdened with excessive melodrama & manipulative "coincidences." More on BLUE CAR.
Put LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, BLUE CRUSH & MONSOON WEDDING into a blender & out comes this multi-cultural feminist fun. Jessmida’s brilliant at soccer but Mom thinks it’s time she learns how to make a “proper” Indian dinner: meat AND vegetarian! Note: It's not over 'til Gurinder thanks her Dad... More on BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM.
After struggling to get herself & her children north, a runaway slave (Winfrey) takes drastic steps to prevent recapture. She succeeds, but the emotional burden is enormous. This film belongs to its actresses, with Newton particularly poignant in the title role. A painful film, but "attention must be paid." More on BELOVED.
Two people with romantic memories of one another meet again after many years. But what could be more hackneyed? His wife no longer excites him sexually. Her boyfriends are never reliable. So they talk, talking themselves into a totally predictable climax. Jan says: “Feh!” Rich is a tad more forgiving. More on BEFORE SUNSET.
American soldier suddenly disappears, leaving his wife to eek out a living in Saigon. She sends their son back to the Vietnamese heartland where he's raised by family members who despise him until he's old enough to begin his long search for answers. Sabina Murray’s screenplay grounds an eloquent masterpiece. More on THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.
Mona (Driver) is determined to win the Miss American Miss beauty pageant, devoting her considerable energies to clawing her way to the top. This is fluffy stuff, nevertheless Driver puts it over, ably assisted by Adams & Eisenberg. Despite the naysayers, we like Mona, we really do! More on BEAUTIFUL.
First time director Jennifer Sharp "SWANs Up" after the Q&A for her screening of I'M THROUGH WITH WHITE GIRLS at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival. This is a terrific film which definitely deserves distribution. Hey, Spike Lee: your Sista needs you to give her a boost! Read FF2 haiku. (Photo: Jan Lisa Huttner)