Currently Browsing: Bechdel-Wallace List

Stand-up comedian searches for freedom from her past

Eva Vives writes and directs All About Nina—an intimate and personal story about a troubled rising comedian. The comedy stage gives Nina a platform to be truthful, when her reality is built up upon lies. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘Hell Fest’ a fun start to Halloween season

From screenwriter Blair Butler (one of five credited writers) and director Gregory Plotkin, Hell Fest is a typical teen slasher film that’s refreshingly free of demonic possession, but also free of originality. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Childhood friends Brooke (Reign Edwards) and Natalie (Amy Forsyth) reunite for Halloween to attend […]

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‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’ is a triumph for women

Directed by Susan Lacey, Jane Fonda in Five Acts explores Jane Fonda’s life to date divided into five movements: her childhood, her three marriages, and finally herself. Emotional, honest and strikingly brave, this film is a masterpiece. (JRL: 4.5/5) In Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Jane Fonda recounts her life experiences in five distinct parts. […]

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Niederpruem’s ‘Little Women’ lacks authenticity and believability

A modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women follows the lives of the March sisters as they overcome hardships and follow their dreams. With good intentions, director and writer Clare Niederpruem and writer Kristi Shimek deliver a Hallmark card of a film dripping in sentimentality and lacking authenticity. (RMM: 2.5/5) Review by […]

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Big heart saves charming ‘Smallfoot’

Smallfoot is a clever animated comedy with a metaphorical message about curiosity and the importance of truth. Voice acting from Channing Tatum, Zendaya and Common brings a sincere humor to this screenplay from Blended screenwriter Clare Sera and co-director Karey Kirkpatrick. (GEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky  Migo (Tatum) is a proud Yeti […]

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‘Colette’ another female historical figure worth remembering

Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Wash Westmoreland, and Richard Glatzer co-write Colette—a biopic starring Keira Knightley and Dominic West. Director Westmoreland’s period piece tells the tale of a French novelist, “Colette”, whose hunger for life pushes past gender norms. It shows how a girl from the countryside transforms into a pioneering feminist woman of the world. (KIZJ: 5/5)

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‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions’ is anything but monumental

In just one day, a dead body is found, a man loses his job, an affair ends, a crime is committed, and hearts are broken. In her directorial debut, director Judy Greer attempts to weave together the vignettes of many characters but fails to create a cohesive, compelling, or funny narrative. The star-studded cast is […]

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‘Intelligent Lives’ demonstrates amazing ability of the disabled

Intelligent Lives (directed by Dan Habib and co-written by Jody Becker) is an inspiring and informative documentary about three intellectually disabled young adults making their way in the world despite the myriad of challenges that face them every day. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Intelligent Lives begins with actor Chris Cooper discussing […]

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Like the film’s heroine, ‘Love, Gilda’ leaves lasting impact

Like a belated memoir-turned-audiobook, Gilda Radner tells her story in her own words – in her own voice. Director Lisa D’Apolito collects and chronologizes the life of the famous funny girl using her own 1989 autobiography, “It’s Always Something,” along with personal belongings, family videotapes and journal entries from the height of her Saturday Night Live fame. Documenting personal struggles with family, friends and her own health, Love, Gilda leaves you wanting more – of the film and her. (4.5/5)

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‘The Song of Sway Lake’ sways us into nostalgia

In director Ari Gold’s award-winning film The Song of Sway Lake, Elizabeth Bull writes a story of nostalgia, pain, and betrayal. In this tale, the obsession over a 78 record is taken over by the feeling of pain and nostalgia. (SYJ: 4/5) Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Wanting to freeze time, […]

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Blake Lively at her best in twisty, original ‘A Simple Favor’

A Simple Favor is a compelling and strange comedy-thriller hybrid from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy, Ghostbusters) and screenwriter Jessica Sharzer (Nerve). When Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) meets mysterious fellow mom Emily (Blake Lively) at her son’s elementary school, their fast friendship quickly spirals into a wild ride involving missing persons and mistaken identities. While not necessarily unique in plot, Feig and Sharzer’s adaptation of Darcey Bell’s novel remains consistently unique in tone and entertainment value. (BKP: 4/5)

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‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ changes post-apocalyptic norms

Written by Mike Makowsky and directed by Reed Morano, I Think We’re Alone Now is a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic genre, as it explores the beautifully complex journey of a man and a woman who are seemingly the last two people on Earth. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar For “Del” (Peter […]

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‘The Land of Steady Habits’ paints a painfully resonant image of conventional suburban life

Feeling suffocated by the conventionality of his job and his family life, a man retires and leaves his wife in an attempt to feel alive again. However, after befriending the troubled teenage son of his wife’s best friend, he finds that everything he does is met with the disapproval of his community. Based on the […]

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‘Reversing Roe’ explores abortion’s evolution from personal to political

Directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern, Reversing Roe is a well-informed, illuminating and powerful resource for those who want to know more about one of the country’s most controversial topics. (JRL: 4/5)

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‘Science Fair’ inspires the younger generation to succeed in the scientific field

Cristina Costantini writes and directs a multi-award winning film Science Fair. Co-directed and co-written by Darren Foster, the film tells the stories of various high school science students. This feature is a “brilliant and quirky” appreciation of the teenage genii that the rest of the world will one day depend upon. (SYJ:4.5/5) Review written by […]

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WARNING SHOT (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

In Warning Shot, writer Breanne Mattson delivers a script even more poorly done than the shoddy craftsmanship on the production. A plot to steal water rights from a young single mother and her child becomes a hostage situation that devolves into a bizarre series of revelations before an action-packed ending leads to a fake-ironic conclusion. […]

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In the canon of World War II films, ‘Where Hands Touch’ is one to skip

Review of Where Hands Touch by Eliana Levenson While Amma Asante’s desire to tell a story of a group whose struggle is often lost in the atrocities of Nazi Germany isn’t inherently a bad thing, Where Hands Touch delivers an incredibly tone-deaf narrative that fails in almost every way. (EML: 2/5) Review by FF2 Associate […]

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‘Hal’ blasts us back to the past

In Amy Scott’s directorial debut, Hal, she describes Hal Ashby’s successes and failures as an Oscar-winning director, and as an individual. Following in the footsteps of her protagonist, Scott directs her first feature of the long awaited story of the ingenious director and editor Hal Ashby. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y […]

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I AM NOT A WITCH (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Written and directed by Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not a Witch follows the devastating story of a young girl who is accused of being a witch, is sent to a “witch camp,” and is tied to a cord she is told will turn her into a goat if cut. An exploration of consumerism and white tourism […]

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‘Kusama: Infinity’ honors the life and work of artist Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese woman in an American man’s world

Artist Yayoi Kusama has spent a lifetime creating original work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art. In both the U.S. and Japan, she has fought for her place in a conservative artistic community that has refused to acknowledge her brilliance. In her documentary, director and writer Heather Lenz – along with writer Keita Ideno […]

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‘Inventing Tomorrow’ inspires, delights and succeeds

Inventing Tomorrow (directed by Laura Nix) is a heartwarming and inspiring documentary about the power of the next generation to address and tackle the major environmental issues that plague our world. The film follows 16 and 17-year-olds from Hawaii, India, Indonesia, and Mexico and gives them a platform to share their research, aspirations, and journey […]

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Puppies find purpose in ‘Pick of the Litter’

Following the birth of five puppies at Guide Dogs for the Blind, Pick of the Litter follows their journey to becoming a blind or visually impaired person’s guide for life. The documentary—co-directed by Don Hardy Jr & Dana Nachman with a screenplay by Nachman—explores this difficult path, but fails to look deeper than the numerous tests […]

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‘The Bookshop’ is aesthetically beautiful but unfortunately boring

In a small East Anglian town in 1959, Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) is determined to open a bookshop despite resistance from elite members of the town. Florence befriends the outcasts of the town in order to find solace amongst the opposition. Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s renowned novel and directed by Isabel Coixet (known for features […]

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‘Hot to Trot’ a beautiful depiction of the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing

Directed by Gail Freedman, Hot to Trot is a beautifully-made documentary that depicts the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing through the lens of three dance couples. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar Hot to Trot is a feature length documentary that follows two couples for around four years as they go to […]

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Asian cast dazzles the screen in lovable rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy based on the 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan. Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli co-write the screenplay, and collaborate with director Jon M. Chu for this long-awaited screen adaptation. Constance Wu stars as Rachel, a young professor of economics, who follows her boyfriend, “Nick Young” (Henry Golding), to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Nick is eager to introduce his girlfriend to his family, but throws Rachel into the deep end when he fails to mention his family’s wealth and reputation. (KIZJ: 5/5)

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‘Juliet, Naked’ carries through on a winning premise

Thanks to the filmmakers’ handle on the romantic comedy genre, Juliet, Naked is highly watchable, a fun take on a winning premise. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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‘The Ranger’ scares us with a bang

With two nominations, Director Jenn Wexler creates an atmosphere that keeps the audience on edge from start to end in The Ranger. Playing against the rules and hiding from the cops, teenagers find themselves in a secluded cabin in the mountains. Things only get worse when they enter the woods. (SYJ: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern […]

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‘A Whale of a Tale’ Explores the Controversial Whaling Industry of Taiji, Japan

Directed by Megumi Sasaki, ‘A Whale of a Tale’ follows an American journalist as he explores the traditions and culture of the whaling industry in Taiji, Japan, a town that has become a site for protest and debate due to its whaling,which American activists have deemed inhumane. (JRL: 4/5) ‘A Whale of a Tale’ Explores […]

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‘Skate Kitchen’ fails to do female skateboarders justice

Skate Kitchen (written and directed by Crystal Moselle) follows a close-knit New York City female skateboarding clique and follows them through their lives of tricks, drama, and freedom, using mostly non-actors. While Skate Kitchen‘s premise and back-story are indeed valid and promising, the portrait ultimately falls short of successfully capturing these powerful women’s stories. (DLH: 2.5/5) Read FF2 […]

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‘The Swan’ reveals life as it is

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótirr writes and directs her debut featureThe Swan. Based on a novel by Guðbergur Bergsson, the movie has won 3 awards and has been nominated for 8. The serene, yet haunting, coming-of-age film shows how a child comes to the realization that life is not as simple as it seems. (SYJ: 4/5)

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