Currently Browsing: Bechdel-Wallace List

THE FAVOURITE (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Co-writer Deborah Davis and (ahem) three-way stars Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Coleman serve up a stylish tale of intrigue in the court of Queen Anne, played by Coleman. Both the humor and the power-grabs are brutal in this exceptional period drama. (GPG: 5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto Two cousins fight for […]

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‘United Skates’ shows historical influence of hobby

Directed, written and produced by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, United Skates is a eye-opening documentary that explores a seemingly cult hobby and its influence both historically and musically. (BV: 4.5/5) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri Opening with factoids about how roller rinks are surprisingly an influential breeding ground for talent, United Skates explores how […]

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‘Becoming Astrid’ a travel between worlds

Becoming Astrid is a powerful rendering of the early years shaping the world-renowned children’s book author Astrid Lindgren. The film is about the person behind the beloved stories and depicts her youth pregnancy and unsteady existence as she travels between her childhood hamlet Vimmerby, her secretary school in Stockholm and her son’s foster home in […]

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Documentary dispels falsehoods about Hillbillies

Hillbilly is a documentary feature made to explore and dispel the traditional stereotype of who American “Hillbillies” are. With 4 awards and 1 nomination in the bag, Ashley York co-directs with Sally Rubin and co-writes with Rubin and Silas House this politically and culturally charged investigative piece. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ a clever, memorable Disney sequel

From co-screenwriter Pamela Ribon, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun, thoughtful journey of two colorful arcade game character venturing into the world wide web. Undeniably imaginative and satirical without snark, this sequel to Wreck-It Ralph (2012) is a great addition to Disney’s ever-growing list of decent sequels. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Managing Editor […]

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‘Heart, Baby’ full of heart but lacking in execution

Boxing gives an incarcerated man the chance at freedom. He chooses love instead. Based on a true story, Heart, Baby depicts life in the Central Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 80s, where men and transgender women of all backgrounds and beliefs struggle to coexist within an unjust prison system and its highly homophobic atmosphere. Writer […]

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WIDOWS take on the job

In writer Gillian Flynn’s latest film Widows, she tells a story of four widows from very different backgrounds in contemporary Chicago. Widows allows women, and women of ethnic minorities, to take power and control in an almost all male action story. (SYJ: 3/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin   Based in a modern […]

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Stellar cast of ‘Lez Bomb’ guesses who’s coming out at dinner

Writer/director Jenna Laurenzo’s new spin on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner tells the story of a closeted young woman who brings her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving. When her male roommate shows up unannounced, misunderstandings snowball into comedy gold, aided by a stellar supporting cast of Cloris Leachman, Bruce Dern, Deirdre O’Connell, Steve Guttenberg, Elaine Hendrix and Kevin Pollak. (BKP: 4/5)

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‘Liz and the Blue Bird’ teaches us to let go

Naoko Yamada, the critically acclaimed director of A Silent Voice, debuts her second feature animated film Liz and the Blue Bird. Originally a coming-of-age novel series, Sound! Euphonium, Yamada creates a film with subtle brilliance. (SYJ: 3.5/5) Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Liz and the Blue Bird is a tale of a […]

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Narcissister Bares All In Fascinating Documentary-Drama Hybrid

Brooklyn performance artist Narcissister combines her own stage performance work with graphic animation and her brother’s home videos to explore the nature of her parent’s relationship and familial history as it lives on in her life and work. The result is the fascinating and emotional piece of art documentary, Narcissister Organ Player. (HRM: 5/5) Review […]

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Unconventional ‘The New Romantic’ captures humor of Generation Z

Aspiring journalist and hopeless romantic Blake Conway takes on a new endeavor to preserve her column in her college’s newspaper in director Carly Stone’s The New Romantic – becoming a sugar baby. (BV 3.5/5)

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‘Say Her Name’ Honors Sandra Bland and her Fight for the Black Lives Matter Movement

Directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland is a riveting documentary about a young black woman, Sandra Bland, who is sent to jail for a traffic violation and found hanged in her cell three days later. Say Her Name is a compelling exposee of our […]

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Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut film ‘Distant Constellation’ is a simple kind of sorrow

Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut film Distant Constellation is a nonlinear documentary that paints portraits of seniors living in a retirement facility as they go about their daily lives, while the neighborhood around them is being torn apart and redeveloped. (BV: 3.5/5)

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Nutty ‘Nutcracker’ not quite a Christmas classic

Screenwriter Ashleigh Powell creates a whimsical world in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, a disjointed but entertaining ride through a magical kingdom kids can only dream of. But along with flowers, sweets and snow (what three of the four realms are made up of) comes a lingering evil, which Powell and directors Joe […]

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‘Border’, a mystical Scandinavian modern fantasy

Based on a short story in a collection of Swedish horror by John Ajvide Lindqvist with the screenplay written by Lindqvist, Isabella Eklöf and director Ali Abbasi, Border (or Gräns in the original Swedish) follows the tale of an unattractive, reclusive woman investigating a crime, in the process discovering who she really is and undergoing […]

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In ‘The Long Shadow’, Frances Causey Attempts to Right the Wrongs of her Slave-Owning Ancestors

Written and directed by Frances Causey, The Long Shadow traces the repercussions of America’s “original sin”: slavery. In the film, Causey explores the lesser-known stories and details of the country’s racial history, demonstrating how slavery has cast a “long shadow” over the whole matter. The Long Shadow provides valuable information and a fairly comprehensive review […]

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‘Shirkers’ reconstructs a lost film into an excellent documentary

Shirkers, written and directed by Sandi Tan, is a wonderfully stitched together documentary both recounting and discovering what happened to her film made in Singapore in the early 90s that was stolen by her mentor, Georges Cardona. (DLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood *This Review contains a spoiler!* Shirkers is an incredible taking back of […]

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‘Weed the People’ uncovers myths about cannabis

In director Abby Epstein’s documentary Weed the People, she brings an already contentious topic to light—should medicinal cannabis be legalized? It’s fascinating how this age-old plant can still create such controversy in the modern day. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin One of the most upsetting images known to man is the […]

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‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ a buzzy showcase for McCarthy

In a dramatic turn for Melissa McCarthy (not the first, but lauded as so), Can You Ever Forgive Me? tells the story of fledgling author Lee Israel and the illegal lengths she went to for extra cash and a sense of purpose. The Marielle Heller-directed drama based on Israel’s memoir of the same name is a no-makeup-Oscar-buzz-generator showcase for McCarthy, but its anti-hero protagonist isn’t much of a protagonist at all. (BKP: 3.5/5)

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New mysterious neighbor brings back memories of old secrets

Change in the Air is a quaint neighborhood drama directed by Dianne Dreyer and written by Audra Gorman. Rachel Brosnahan stars as a secretive lady who moves in to a community of retired elderlies. After an accident occurs, rumours spread about this new neighbor and the mysteries begin to unravel. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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‘What They Had’ is a Masterful Family Drama

Created by first-time writer and director Elizabeth Chomko, What They Had is a heart-wrenching family drama about the family of a woman with Alzheimer’s. With a raw and emotional storyline portrayed by excellent actors, What they Had is certainly a successful first film for Chomko. (JRL: 4 / 5) ‘What They Had’ is a Masterful Family […]

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The Kindergarten Teacher astounds in its psychosis

Written and directed by Sara Colangelo, The Kindergarten Teacher follows middle-aged Lisa Spinelli’s developing psychotic obsession with a five-year-old prodigy and his poems in a beautifully slow and muted film that is sure to leave you with more questions than answers. (DLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Though Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal)’s life […]

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‘Liyana’ and the autonomy that storytelling gives

At a home for orphans in Swaziland, five children become storytellers as they use their own experiences to tell the tale of one girl’s incredible journey. Directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp take the documentary genre and turn it on its head as they utilize fiction as a means for both exploring reality and teaching these […]

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A family gathers to bid farewell to a beloved pet in the wise & winsome ‘Stella’s Last Weekend’

Stella’s Last Weekend reflects the importance of being young and not knowing what to do. Set around the impending death of their family dog, Stella, two brothers learn that they have mistakenly fallen for the same girl and discover that nothing in life is as easy it seems. (KAC: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine […]

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‘Above and Beyond’ is a love letter to NASA

Directed by Rory Kennedy, Above and Beyond showcases NASA’s 60-year history. It documents NASA’s many important milestones and mystifying discoveries, then brings it all back to our own planet that we must now save. Above and Beyond is not only a beautiful exposé’ of our universe, but an invigorating push to restore the Earth. (JRL: […]

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‘Bill Coors – The Will to Live’ inspires positivity

Kerry David co-writes and directs a multi-award winning documentary Bill Coors: The Will to Live. Bill Coors, or William Kistler “Bill” Coors, shares an incredibly detailed history of his life. Although he is known as a giant of the brewing industry, this film delves into the intricacies of his home life as well as his mental […]

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‘The Hate U Give’ a moving force of nature on the humanity that lies beneath political controversy

When 16-year-old “Starr Carter” (Amandla Stenberg) witnesses the unjust, fatal shooting of her friend at the hands of a police officer, her life is changed forever. Already caught between the worlds of her mostly black neighborhood and her mostly white prep school, Starr must overcome the pressures around her to find her own voice. Based […]

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Giamatti and Hahn a sad, perfect duo in Netflix dramedy ‘Private Life’

Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn bring their best to Tamara Jenkins’ Netflix dramedy, Private Life. Telling the story of two 40-something artists struggling with fertility, they enlist the help of their gung-ho step-niece in the hopes that her donation egg will start their family. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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‘Trouble’ lacks cohesion but has lots of heart

Written and directed by Theresa Rebeck, Trouble is a heartfelt comedy about a brother and sister in a heated feud over property rights. (JRL: 3/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker Maggie (Anjelica Huston) lives on a large plot of land in Vermont, spending her days gardening and taking in the view from her front porch. […]

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‘306 Hollywood’ a dynamic attempt to archive a loved one

306 Hollywood is an eclectic attempt to document what is left of someone after they die. After their grandmother passes away, Elan and Jonathan Bogarin process the loss of a loved one by piecing together her life from the belongings left in her home and taped interviews they collected over her last 10 years. What […]

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