Currently Browsing: May 2017

BAND AID (2017): Review by Eliana Levenson

In her directorial debut, director, writer, and star, Zoe Lister-Jones explores the complexities of gender dynamics and expectations in relationships through a couple struggling to hold their marriage together. (EML: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson A dripping faucet. A sink full of dirty dishes. “Anna” (Zoe Lister-Jones) and her husband, “Ben” (Adam […]

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CHURCHILL (2017): Review by Rachel Kastner

Penned by historian and screenwriter Alex Von Tunzelman, and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, Churchill follows Prime Minister “Winston Churchill” (Brian Cox) as he attempts to put a stop to what he thinks is the worst mistake the Allied Forces could make: going through with their D-day plans. The older Prime Minister is angered by the thought of […]

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LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD (2016): Sneak Peek by Jan Lisa Huttner

Look closely at this photo. What do you see? This photo was taken in Egypt during the Cairo Conference of 1921. The two men on camels are Sir Winston Churchill (left) and T.E. Lawrence aka “Lawrence of Arabia” (right). And the woman, seated in between two of the best-known Brits of the 20th Century? The woman […]

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RADIO DREAMS (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

From co-writer Aida Ahadiany and director Babak Jalali, Radio Dreams follows the staff of an Iranian radio station in San Francisco as it anticipates a collaboration between Kabul Dreams (“Afghanistan’s first rock band”) and the immensely popular metal band Metallica. (GEP: 3/5) Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky There is a universal message […]

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SAMI BLOOD (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Sami Blood is writer-director Amanda Kernell’s foray into the Sami culture in the 1930s, in which her indigenous people were treated as inferior to the Swedish and were essentially forced to neglect their culture and themselves. (GEP: 4.5/5) Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky I first had the opportunity to screen Kernell’s Sami […]

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WONDER WOMAN (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

In the middle of the ocean, hidden in a veil of fog and darkness, is a protective shield against the outside world, and in it is the beautiful island of Themiscyra. Safe from the cruelty of humanity, this is where the Amazonian women have survived since the creation of time, after the fall of the […]

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WONDER WOMAN (2017): Our New York Team POV

Our NYC Team — FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner plus FF2 Associate Lindsy Bissonnette, FF2 Senior Contributor Lisa Inanucci, FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto & FF2 Associates Katusha Jin & Rachel Kastner — weigh in on this weekend’s box office hit Wonder Woman 🙂 Lindsy’s Rating: 5/5 Wonder Woman directed by the brilliant Patty Jenkins is an absolute must see. Incredibly […]

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WONDER WOMAN (2017): Our Chicago Team POV

Our Chicago Team — FF2 Managing Editor Brigid Presecky, FF2 Senior Contributor Pamela Powell, FF2 Senior Contributor Stephanie A. Taylor, FF2 Social Media Manager Georgiana Presecky — weigh in on this weekend’s box office hit Wonder Woman 🙂 Georgi’s Rating: 5/5 🙂 Gal Gadot is the epitome of strength in director Patty Jenkins’ outstanding Wonder Woman. Both the […]

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WONDER WOMAN (2017): Our Los Angeles Team POV

The Los Angeles Team — FF2 Executive Editor, Jessica Perry + FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson & FF2 Contributor Elyse B. Thaler — weighs in on this weekend’s box office hit Wonder Woman 🙂 Elly’s Rating: 4/5 Over the next few weeks, perhaps even longer, a lot will be said about the first female directed superhero film and […]

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BERLIN SYNDROME (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Berlin Syndrome is named for both the city in which the film takes place, and Stockholm Syndrome, the psychological condition where a prisoner falls in love with their captor. From that title, you might guess that it’s a story about Stockholm Syndrome, taking place in Berlin, and you’d be very correct. Director Cate Shortland takes […]

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BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB – ADIOS (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Lucy Walker’s Buena Vista Social Club: Adios is a sentimental farewell to a musical group that brought Cuba’s culture to life for viewers in the 1999 film Buena Vista Social Club. With moments of pure fun and others of sad contemplation, Walker’s film is a reflection of changing times, but also a love letter to […]

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RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN

What does it take to be a ballerina? What does it take to be one of the best ballerinas in the world? We’ve sat through enough images of broken toes, stressful auditions, and tedious rehearsals to know that the journey to the center stage is long and onerous. Perfection is essential and everything less so […]

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THE WOMEN’S BALCONY (2016): Sneak Peek by Jan Lisa Huttner

Set in a close-knit community in Jerusalem, The Women’s Balcony is a parable about what happens when bad things happen to good people. But rather than weep and wail, screenwriter Shlomit Nehama, and director Emil Ben-Shimon create a joyous dramedy about faith and fellowship. Highly recommended! One of the best films of the year in any language. (JLH: […]

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EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Stella Meghie’s Everything, Everything is a sweet teen love story between a young woman who has never gone outside and the cute boy who moves in next door and shows her what it means to really live. Though screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe prevents it from becoming a “boy saves girl” tale, the cliches and melodrama […]

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ICAROS: A VISION (2016): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

When one young woman refuses to accept the hopelessness of her diagnosis, she travels to the Amazon and prays that an ancient psychedelic brew can save her. Filled with interesting imagery and unusual cinematography, Icaros: A Vision, written by Leonor Caraballo, Abou Farman, and Matteo Norzi and directed by Leonor Caraballo Matteo Norzi, is a […]

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PAINT IT BLACK (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Paint it Black is a tour de force showcasing the brilliant work of three women: director Amber Tamblyn, and actresses Alia Shawkat and Janet McTeer. With Tamblyn’s visionary guidance, Shawkat and McTeer give performances that will by turns make you laugh, cringe, and shudder. I highly recommend this emotional thriller about men with mommy issues, […]

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WAKEFIELD (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Brilliant new film by Robin Swicord brutally exposes two conjoined-twin nightmares: male privilege & the male gaze. What timing! Thank You, Movie Gods! (JLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Media Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner The Movie Gods are as capricious and mercurial as their counterparts on Mount Olympus in Greece. Usually they feed us junk, but everyone […]

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THE DROWNING (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

The Drowning is a psychological thriller that keeps the viewer guessing and still manages to surprise—based on the novel by Pat Barker and directed by Bette Gordon, this tightly plotted tale of obsession is a tour de force. The performances and soundtrack are especially of note! (GPG: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto While […]

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PARIS CAN WAIT (2016): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

A vacation/business trip falls apart for this American couple when a neglected wife finds comfort and companionship in her husband’s business partner. Paris Can Wait, written and directed by Eleanor Coppola, is a melodramatic story of love, loss, and temptation as one woman learns to indulge and embrace life instead of constantly looking at it […]

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SNATCHED

Snatched, written by Katie Dippold, is a heartwarming yet outrageous comedy about mother/daughter pair, “Linda Middleton” (Goldie Hawn) and “Emily Middleton” (Amy Schumer) who, unsuspecting of a handsome stranger, get abducted while on vacation in South America. It was supposed to be a mother/daughter bonding trip in Ecuador, but once they become the target of […]

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STEFAN ZWEIG – FAREWELL TO EUROPE (2016): Review by Elly Levenson

Artistry takes priority over substance in Maria Schrader’s biographical film, Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe, which follows the life of German-Jewish author Stefan Zweig during his exile from Germany during World War II. (EML: 3/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson The film opens with a long, still shot of a floral arrangement. As […]

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TRACKTOWN (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Olympic athlete Alexi Pappas stars in, co-writes, and co-directs the semi-autobiographical feature Tracktown, with Jeremy Teicher. “Plumb” (Alexi Pappas), is a quirky, young Olympic hopeful, who must juggle newfound adult responsibilities whilst training for her Olympic trials. In this coming-of-age drama, the blend of fiction and reality sheds light on the often-ignored side of being an athlete, where mental strength is just as important as physical strength. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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THE WEDDING PLAN (2016): Rant by Jan Lisa Huttner

“Michal” (Noa Koler) is a 32-year-old Israeli woman terrified of becoming a spinster. She is willing to do anything — go to a faith healer, endure countless fix-ups by numerous matchmakers, fly to Ukraine for a one day visit to the grave of a famous Rabbi — she is willing to do anything to avoid a […]

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3 GENERATIONS (2015): Review by Eliana Levenson

While not always successful, Gaby Dellal’s 3 Generations seeks to give a voice to the complexity of being transgendered through this family driven drama that follows the struggles of a transgender teen seeking to undergo hormone replacement therapy. (EML: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson “Ray” (Elle Fanning) has never been normal. Born […]

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A WOMAN’S LIFE (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

A Woman’s Life depicts the life of a woman living in the 19th century—unfortunately, it is about as boring and unpleasant as the life of a woman in the 19th century. Director Stéphane Brizé fails to impress in this pretty but monotonous period piece. (GPG: 2/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto We meet “Jeanne” […]

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LIKE CRAZY (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

Screenwriter Francesca Archibugi’s film Like Crazy (La Pazza Gioia) is the story of an unlikely friendship between two patients at an Italian psychiatric facility. These two women believe breaking out of the physical walls that hold them will set them free, but their psychological walls are what keep their adventures from being everything they hoped for. […]

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MR. CHIBBS (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

Kenny Anderson, also known as “Mr. Chibbs,” is ten years into retirement from the NBA. After the loss of his mother, and the realization that he has thrown away too many opportunities, he makes new strides in bettering himself. Determined to improve his life and the life of his family and armed with the knowledge […]

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RISK (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras indeed takes huge risks in this portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Coming out of the screening room, I felt somewhat bludgeoned by the implications of what I had seen. It is clear that Poitras began this project convinced that Assange was a hero. She is, after all, the filmmaker who […]

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TOMORROW EVER AFTER (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Shaina is a visitor from the future trapped in a hostile world and longing for home. Like ET, she has powers beyond our own, but she still needs ordinary humans to assist her with “activities of daily living.” Filmmaker Ela Thier wrote a screenplay with a perceptive take on our era (which she calls “The Great Despair”), but director […]

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