Currently Browsing: Reviews: E-G

Mystery, melancholy, memory, and comfort pervade Júlia Murat’s ‘Found Memories’ like sunlight in an empty room

In Found Memories (2011), Júlia Murat quietly observes the daily happenings in a tiny Brazilian village. When a young photographer arrives to photograph the few elderly residents and their homes, she finds herself captivated by the setting’s antiquity. In just a few days, she grows close to the village bread baker, who spends her days lost in memories and routine. Beautifully composed visuals in each frame paired with minimal yet expressive acting add movement to a story steeped in mystery, melancholy, and – strangely – comfort. (RMM: 5/5)

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“Girlfriends” is a friendship love story

I’ve joked before that I’ll always want to watch a movie about two friends in their twenties facing existential growth and discomfort. And it’s true! I would.

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A compelling immigrant narrative is marred by a weak script and acting in Ela Thier’s ‘Foreign Letters’

In 1982, a young girl and her family must adjust to life as immigrants in America after leaving Israel to escape war. While exchanging letters with her best friend back home, the young daughter finds a new, lifelong friend in a quiet Vietnamese girl in her class. Based on her own childhood, Ela Thier’s Foreign Letters (2012) chronicles the struggles of assimilating to a new language and culture while yearning for the one you left. Unfortunately, its engaging subject matter does not cancel out its weak script and static acting. (RMM: 2.5/5)

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Joan Darling’s ‘First Love’ is a not-so-sweet dive into campus romance

Joan Darling directed First Love—one of the first big studio films that was offered to a woman. William Katt and Susan Dey star in this campus love story where a hopeful young man falls in love with a beautiful woman, whose heart is with an older man. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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El Camino tells the story of village life under Franco

TCM will feature films from 12 decades—and representing 44 countries—totaling 100 classic and current titles all created by women. Read more about this here!  Ana Mariscal’s El Camino is a historical document for anyone who wishes to study Franco era Spain, though the production values are admittedly not amazing. The film’s significance both to history and […]

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Breaking from the status quo in Entre Nous

Directed by Diane Kuris, Entre Nous (Between Us) serves as a wonderful example of the complexities that arise when choosing to stray from the status quo imposed by your loved ones and your community. (FEA 5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Farah Elattar The film stars Isabelle Huppert as “Lena Weber,” a Jewish refugee who marries […]

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EXTRA ORDINARY (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Extra Ordinary, written by a team of writers including Maeve Higgins, is a story of exorcism and satanism with a comedic twist. The film is a parody on the typical ghost buster movie. (SYJ: ⅘)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin Extra Ordinary opens with a piece of old documentary footage from […]

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Kelly Reichardt’s lovely story of friendship in “First Cow”

This movie is about friendship, but also xenophobia, class warfare, and the necessity of cooperation for survival. And this complexity makes the movie feel expansive, and leaves me thinking about it days after seeing it. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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GO BACK TO CHINA (2019): Review by FF2 Media

When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through most of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. Go Back to China opens 3/6. FF2 review coming soon!

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“A Fine Line” explores the difficulties female chefs face in a male-dominated industry

In her first documentary and film, director Joanna James explores the struggles of top female chefs and restaurant owners to gain recognition in an industry ruled by men. At the same time, she tells the story of her own mother, chef and restaurant owner Valerie James, and her life of hard work and perseverance. (RMM: […]

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Our beloved ‘Emma.’–the witty, and self-indulging matchmaker–is back in town

Autumn de Wilde directs her debut feature film Emma., in collaboration with writer Eleanor Catton. Anna Taylor-Joy stars as the playful, witty young heroine in this adaptation of the well-known Jane Austen classic of the same name. Believing she has a talent for matchmaking, Emma takes on the responsibility of navigating the complex relationships of the town. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘Fantasy Island’ Reimagines the 1970’s TV Series

 Fantasy Island is a horror twist on the hit 1970’s TV show. While this is a creative and intriguing concept, the film didn’t quite manage to streamline itself into a properly horrific piece of cinema, as its new genre had promised (JRL: 2 / 5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker As the film […]

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Stunning sequel ‘Frozen II’ will close out banner month for Disney

Directors Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Animation’s first and only female director on an animated film) and Chris Buck take Elsa and Anna back to the big screen with Frozen II, a bigger, sometimes better sequel to the 2013 blockbuster – one that became the highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. […]

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‘Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops’ is heartbreaking yet feels unfinished

Jenifer McShane’s documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops follows San Antonio, Texas police officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, the leaders of a ten-person mental health unit of the San Antonio police force. Ernie & Joe recounts their efforts to place mental health safety at the forefront of officers minds when handling people in crisis, […]

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Brian Cox anchors and illuminates ‘The Etruscan Smile’

The Etruscan Smile (directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun and written by Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan, and Sarah Bellwood) is a familial drama that swirls around burly Scotsman Rory (played excellently by Brian Cox) as he travels to San Francisco to visit a doctor. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood The […]

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‘The Elephant Queen’ leads her majestic family across the African savannah for survival

Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble direct The Elephant Queen—a documentary that closely observes an elephant herd and the delicate ecosystem they live in. As the dry season begins, the family has no choice but to journey across the African savannah and seek refuge. Academy award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates this touching portrayal of the friendly majestic creatures. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘#Female Pleasure’ should screen in classrooms worldwide

Featuring five remarkable women activists across four continents, #Female Pleasure continues the global conversations regarding women and sexuality. Director Barbara Miller’s documentary gives an informative update on the contemporary view of female bodies and reminds a progressive and feminist audience that though we have come a long way, there is still a long way to […]

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Old-time music is uncovered in ‘Fiddlin”

In Julie Simone’s new documentary Fiddlin’, the history of a hidden genre of music, Old Time music, is discovered. From fiddles to banjos, to flat-foot dancing, the community of Old Time music comes alive when enjoying the tunes of the past. (SYJ: ⅗)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   The […]

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GIFT (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Chronicling gift-based cultures around the world and challenging the logic of global capitalism, the film inspires the question: is life about getting or giving? Gift opens 10/18. FF2 review coming soon!

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In ‘Greener Grass,’ it isn’t always better on the other side

Created by and starring Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, Greener Grass might be described mostly simply as an absurdist satire of upper middle class suburban parenthood, but it really defies categorization, displaying by turns sitcom playfulness, body horror, and kitschy nostalgia. The film is set in a neighborhood so colorful it’s almost dystopian, and it […]

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‘The Game Changers’ might just persuade you to go vegan

Any vegans in the audience are going to love co-writer Shannon Kornelson’s documentary on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Kornelson, director Louie Psihoyos, and a cast of interviewees from the Miami Dolphins to Arnold Schwarznegger show us that veganism doesn’t just benefit the average person, but even the highest level athletes as well. (GPG: […]

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‘Edie’ bold proof that age is just a number

Edie (directed by Simon Hunter and screenplay written by Elizabeth O’Halloran) follows an 83-year-old woman as she treks off to climb Mount Suilven in Scotland and fulfill a life-long dream. While Edie is cliché and cheesy at times, it contains many heartfelt moments of personal triumph and well-developed character interactions. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 […]

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‘Love, it’s the new style’: The Triumphant Sweetness of the ‘Fiddler’ Documentary

In Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, writer-director Max Lewkowicz and writer Valerie Thomas illuminate the rich history behind the classic musical, unpack its artistic influences, and explore the sources of the story’s universal power. (AEL: 4.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Amelie Lasker In one of my favorite sequences in the documentary, many Tevyes are spliced […]

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‘Give Me Liberty’ speeds into chaos and wonderful comedy

Give Me Liberty (directed by Kirill Mikhanovsky and written by Kirill Mikhanovsky and Alice Austen) is a story of beautiful human interaction and the comical mishaps surrounding medical driver Vic (played by non-professional actor Chris Galust) and his journey to get riders to where they need to go. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna […]

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Valerie Pachner a stellar secret-keeping consultant in ‘The Ground Beneath My Feet’

Austrian writer/director Marie Kreutzer tells the story of workaholic Lola and the familial and romantic relationships she keeps hidden. A blend of personal drama and psychological thriller (without many thrills), The Ground Beneath My Feet is a twisty take on a woman figuring out her work/life balance. (BKP: 3/5) Review by Vice President and Managing […]

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‘For Sama’ an intimate conversation on the female experience of war

For Sama is a documentary, directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, focused on the female experience of war, a real-time narrative compiling Waad’s horrifying experiences in Aleppo. Told as a nonlinear “love letter” from mother to daughter, Waad struggles with the struggle between her daughter’s safety and fighting for the Syria she and her […]

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‘The Great Hack’ examines Cambridge Analytica scandal

The Great Hack directors Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim uncover the disturbing truth of cyberspace, focusing primarily on the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected the 2016 presidential bid. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Social media: a phrase that, a decade ago, was not used in our […]

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‘Firecrackers’ is a teenage wonderland masterpiece

Writer/director Jasmin Mozaffari’s film stands out in an already-strong genre of new coming of age stories. With Firecrackers, set in a desolate, unnamed town on the outskirts of Ontario, Mozaffari manages to create a unique teenage friendship between Lou and Chantal, who ache to run away as soon as possible. Newcomers on the scene, Michaela […]

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FIRECRACKERS (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A teenage girl and her friend run into problems when they plan to leave town. Firecrackers opens 7/12. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘The Farewell’ is Lulu Wang’s Oscar to lose

Writer/director Lulu Wang’s autobiographical story centers on a Chinese grandmother with a terminal lung cancer diagnosis – only she is the only person in her family who doesn’t know it. Starring Awkwafina in a dramatic leading role as Billi, the daughter of first-generation immigrants, The Farewell is a universal story that captures the true essence […]

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