THE WOMEN

THE WOMEN

Fortysomething years of frenetic activity come to a screeching halt one day when “Mary Haines” (Meg Ryan) inadvertently learns that her husband Stephen is having an affair.  Retreating from men, Mary reaches out to an already large and rapidly expanding support network.  Old friends offer advice, and new friends provide consolation, but in the end…

TWO LIVES PLUS ONE
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TWO LIVES PLUS ONE

Éliane Weiss (Emmanuelle Devos) is the French-born daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors. She’s always been “a good girl,” stable, reliable, and dedicated to her family, but her father’s recent death has caused her to turn inward. One day she receives unexpected encouragement from a surprising source, and she proceeds to make big changes that upset…

ELEGY

ELEGY

New adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel The Dying Animal succeeds in capturing the author’s humanity.  Excellent cast is headlined by Ben Kingsley as “David Kepesh” (a serial seducer who becomes obsessed with a beautiful young woman) and Penelope Cruz as “Consuela” (someone longing for safe harbor after disappointments of her own).  Dennis Hopper is cast…

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7/21/08: AAUW-Illinois Honors WITASWAN!

On July 21, 2008, Linda Henning Cohen, the new President of AAUW-Illinois, sent me a letter concluding as follows: "The AAUW-Illinois Board thanks you for your years of developing and promoting WITASWAN and wishes to acknowledge your outstanding accomplishments with the enclosed proclamation." THANK YOU, AAUW-ILLINOIS!!! You will always be credited as the original incubator…

FROZEN RIVER

FROZEN RIVER

Two women, one white (Melissa Leo) and one Native American (Misty Upham), form an unlikely bond in perilous circumstances, smuggling illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River in the dead of winter.  Filmmaker Courtney Hunt’s first feature won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.  The Hot Pink Pen agrees: Frozen…

BRICK LANE

BRICK LANE

A haunting evocation of immigrant life, tenderly delineating the slow steps by which a Bangladeshi woman (Tannishtha Chatterjee) makes a home for her daughters in London so different in every way from the one she herself knew as a girl. The Hot Pink Pen applauds the filmmakers’ intentions, but one huge casting decision undermines their…

THE NANNY DIARIES

THE NANNY DIARIES

Fantasy and reality collide when Annie, a working class girl fresh out of college (Scarlett Johansson), starts working as a nanny for the upscale Mrs. X (Laura Linney). Many critics are comparing The Nanny Diaries to The Devil Wears Prada which featured another spirited young woman making her way in New York’s upper ranks. The Hot…