Currently Browsing: 2015

JOY

Jennifer Lawrence stars as a semi-fictionalized version of Miracle Mop entrepreneur, Joy Mangano. Writer/Director David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo construct a thoroughly enjoyable story of a woman enduring the hardships of family, parenthood and a self-made business. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Like most little girls, “Joy” daydreamed of all […]

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SISTERS

Sisters is a big, broad, bawdy delight. Screenwriter Paula Pell–a member of the Saturday Night Live team for the past decade and Emmy-nominated with the SNL team for recent anniversary shows–knows her stars perfectly. And director Jason Moore (best known for the first Pitch Perfect film) knows how the keep the whole dizzy, ditzy ensemble […]

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Who is Clara Royer?

JAN RANTS: Can anyone tell me who Clara Royer is & why her name might be important this year? Can anyone tell me who Rebecca Lenkiewicz is & why her name might have been important last year? Just a few months back, in February, the Polish film Ida received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language […]

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THE WINDING STREAM

Full Title = The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes, and The Course of Country Music Exhilarating film about the Carter Family, Country Music stars from the dawn of recorded music right up to today. Filmmaker Beth Harrington has directed The Winding Stream with skill and smarts, and Mike Olson contributes terrific photoanimations to make the pre-Selfie Era come alive […]

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BLEEDING HART

Written and directed by Diane Bell, Bleeding Heart is a small story with big moments, portraying the lengths one will go to for family, even family you just met. “May” (Jessica Biel) meets her long lost sister “Shiva” (Zosia Mamet) and the two quickly grow close. But when Shiva’s abusive boyfriend begins to threaten Shiva’s […]

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DON VERDEAN

The Sam Rockwell-led satire tells the story of a Biblical archaeologist on the hunt for new artifacts. The bizarre comedy from Jared and Jerusha Hess has a tone similar to their 2004 megahit Napolean Dynamite, with the satirical humor geared towards a niche audience. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky The film […]

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THE GIRL IN THE BOOK

Intriguing first feature written and directed by filmmaker Marya Cohn puts a new spin on the sexual betrayal of a fourteen year old girl. This victim appears to come from the best of homes, but her abuser can see that she has no one to protect her, so he takes what he wants with no concern for consequences. Cohn–directing […]

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THE TAINTED VEIL

The Tainted Veil offers an in depth study into the history of the veil across cultures. But places much of its focus on the current debate surrounding the hijab in Muslim culture. Directors Nahla Al Fahad, Mazen al Khayrat and Ovidio Salazar deliver a thought-provoking film filled with interviews from people of many backgrounds, opinions, […]

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THE MESSENGER

Filled with stunning visuals, The Messenger is an artfully constructed documentary about the diminishing songbird population, and the race against climate change to turn the tide so we may never see a world without birds. What would that world look like and do we want to find out? Director Su Rynard asks these probing questions, […]

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ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

When Jimmy Ellis tried to establish a singing career in 1970s Hollywood, agents and producers told him he sounded too much like Elvis to go anywhere. Meanwhile novelist Gail Brewer Giorgio was writing a story about a fictional musician, “Orion,” who was so successful he had to fake his own death to escape his suffocating […]

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CENSORED VOICES

Opens today in NYC. Review coming soon.

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THE DANISH GIRL

Inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, The Danish Girl is a stunning film written for the screen by Lucinda Coxon and directed by Tom Hooper. The film is based on the incredible true story of Lili Elbe, who was one of the first known people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. It […]

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JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE

Filmmaker Amy Berg (an FF2 Media favorite) releases her fourth film of the year, Janis: A Little Girl Blue, telling the personal story of music legend Janis Joplin. Using historical footage, family interviews and Joplin’s personalized letters, Berg tells a masterful story of a young girl whose passion drove her to enormous success … and […]

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KARSKI AND THE LORDS OF HUMANITY

Opens today in NYC. Review coming soon.

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Brava, Rachel Feldman!

‘‘It’s kind of like the church,’’ actress/filmmaker Anjelica Huston told Maureen Dowd. ‘‘They don’t want us to be priests. They want us to be obedient nuns.’’ So much for that! FF2 Media is honored to post this OpEd by filmmaker Rachel Feldman–a heartfelt & personal response to the terrific article Maureen Dowd published in the […]

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#HORROR

Filmmaker Tara Subkoff brings us #Horror a horror film based on real life events and the harsh truth about the effects of cyber bullying. While dealing with a very important topic, #Horror unfortunately misses the mark. (JEP: 3/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry Written and directed by Tara Subkoff, #Horror deals with the […]

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CAROL (2015)

Director Todd Haynes and screenwriter Phyllis Nagy have made a new film that is all parts but no whole. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical lesbian romance The Price of Salt, Carol has impeccable production values, but perfunctory character development and a predictable plot. And even though the Supreme Court recently affirmed Gay Marriage in the USA, the […]

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FRAME BY FRAME

While in power in Afghanistan, the Taliban regime banned all photography and destroyed many preexisting photographs. However, after September 11th the power shifted and the media blackout was lifted. Even so, photojournalists continue to be targeted, risking their lives for their work. Directed by Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli, Frame by Frame is a riveting […]

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THE GOOD DINOSAUR

Two FF2 Media reviews. Two sisters. Two viewpoints. The Good Dinosaur is the newest visually breathtaking film from Disney-Pixar, but its story and main conflict do little to support the beautiful backdrop against which it takes place. (GEP 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky The titular good dinosaur is “Arlo,” (voiced by Raymond […]

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MUSTANG

Told through the lens of the youngest of five sisters, Mustang explores the emotional turmoil faced by young women in a small Turkish village. Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven masterfully portrays the struggles that the sisters face within their strict, traditional culture, as they begin to discover and express their sexuality. (EML: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana […]

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THE NIGHT BEFORE

The Night Before tells the story of three best friends who vow to spend one last Christmas together. The film is exactly what you expect it to be, neither good nor bad. But this buddy comedy, led by an always-lovable Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has a sweet message hidden beneath its slapstick, drugged out, holiday adventure. (BKP: […]

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THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE

In The Summer of Sangailé’s colorfully-lit series of lazy day scenes and playful original soundtrack, Lithuanian filmmaker Alante Kavaite invokes gracefully, if a little simply, the feeling of the teenage summer. Lanky, serious “Sangailé” (Julija Steponaityte) is watching the airplane show at a summer fair, fascinated but too afraid of her vertigo to try herself. […]

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VERY SEMI-SERIOUS

Leah Wolchok goes behind the scenes of the The New Yorker, documenting history of the magazine’s memorable cartoons – and the cartoonists that brought them to life. Although traditional in its format, this engaging HBO project keeps you laughing minute by minute. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Cartoons in The New […]

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THE 33

Directed by Patricia Riggen, The 33 is a powerful drama based on the real-life mining accident in Chile in 2010, where 33 miners were trapped 2,300 feet underground for 69 days. The incredible circumstances of the real-life events make for a highly suspenseful and emotional film. (JEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry […]

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BY THE SEA

A painfully slow drama about an estranged couple vacationing on the French seaside who begin to mend their marriage when they find common interest in spying on the newlywed couple next door. Written, directed, and starred in by Angelina Jolie Pitt, By the Sea is a wholly underwhelming film with too little story and too […]

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CASA GRANDE

Casa Grande presents the Cavalcanti family, once part of Rio de Janeiro’s elite, but now running out of money fast. Father “Hugo” (Marcello Novaes) vigilantly denies their decline. His insistence on his family’s both luxurious and honorable lifestyle quickly reveals that the financial stability behind his elitism drawing thin. Mother “Sonia” (Suzana Pires) tries to […]

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INGRID BERGMAN IHOW

Full Title = Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words Utilizing diary entries, letters, and home movie footage, Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words brings you behind the scenes and into the life of one of the world’s greatest film stars. A masterful script by Stina Gardell,  Stig Bjorkman, and Dominika Daubenbuchel triumphs in its use […]

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LOVE THE COOPERS

The entire self-pitying Cooper clan reluctantly reunites for one last family Christmas. Director Jessie Nelson’s well-intentioned holiday movie strives to be a hybrid of Love Actually and The Family Stone, yet the star-studded cast of Love the Coopers never quite amounts to its potential. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky The film […]

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MAN UP

Simon Pegg and Lake Bell star in a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy reminiscent of a bygone era. When lonely “Nancy” (Lake Bell) gets mistaken for “Jack’s” (Simon Pegg) blind date, she decides to play along and and have fun rather than reveal her true identity. This sweet, fun story by Tess Morris hits all the right […]

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ROCK IN THE RED ZONE

Directed by Laura Bialis Rock in the Red Zone is a powerful documentary that will open your eyes to the harsh realities facing the border town of Sderot, Israel. Faced with bombardment from the Gaza strip, citizens of the small town live in a constant state of anxiety, but through music, are able to express […]

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