Reviews: B-D

Powerful Darrell Hammond doc ‘Cracked Up’ a story of survival

Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond brings his 2011 memoir “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem” to life in this emotionally raw documentary of overcoming childhood trauma. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky “You overcame sh*t, too.” […]

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Reviews: H-J

‘Hustlers’ is a powerhouse of social critique and female friendship

Hustlers (written and directed by Lorene Scafaria) is a whirlwind look into the exclusive world of high-class strippers as they struggle to stay on top of an ever-shifting industry. Based on a true story, Hustlers beautifully demonstrates the highs, lows, friendships, catastrophes, and subversive truths of the lives of multiple women that work in the […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

MONOS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Borrowing from Lord of the Flies, Skins, and Apocalypse Now alike, Monos is an excellently plotted, virtuosically acted, and fascinatingly directed ensemble drama following a squadron of child soldiers. Producer Cristina Landes assists director Alejandro Landes to bring lurid visions of love, war, hatred, and desperation to the screen. (GPG: 5/5) Review by FF2 Contributing […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

The musical silence of ‘Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements’

In award-winning director Irene Taylor Brodsky’s new documentary Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements, she explores her own family’s ability to cope with deafness. This story is intertwined with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, which was composed during the year he started to lose his hearing. (SYJ 4.5/5)   Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin […]

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Reviews: U-W

Not livin’ for ‘The Weekend’

Written and directed by Stella Meghie, The Weekend is a rom-com about a young woman who begrudgingly goes on a weekend getaway with her ex and his new girlfriend. The film is funny and features a strong leading lady, but doesn’t have much merit beyond that (JRL: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker At […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘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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Reviews: N-P

‘Promise at Dawn’ a memoir about the depths of a mother’s love

Promise at Dawn, directed by Eric Barbier and co-written with Marie Eynard, is an adaption of Romain Gary’s memoir of the same name. Supposedly near his death bed while vacationing in Mexico, Romain recalls his tumultuous but loving relationship with his mother. A failed actress in Russia, single mother Nina Kachew puts extreme expectations on […]

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Reviews: Q-S

RAISE HELL – THE LIFE & TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: The story of media firebrand Molly Ivins, six feet of Texas trouble who took on the Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Raise Hell opens 9/6. FF2 review coming soon!

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Reviews: Q-S

‘Satanic Panic’ is fun, freaky and (surprisingly) feminist

Chelsea Stardust’s directorial debut, Satanic Panic is a wild, gory, over-the-top horror film. Though it’s qualities aren’t meaningful character arcs or perfect plot progression, it will be fun for those who like gore (JRL: 3/5)  Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker Sam (Hayley Griffith) has a new job as a pizza delivery girl. On […]

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Reviews: A

Clashing cultures persist in ‘American Factory’

American Factory, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert,  explores what happens to General Motors workers in Ohio as the Chinese Fuyao Glass company takes over its old factories. (BV 4.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri Michelle and Barack Obama’s film company “Higher Ground Productions” delivers a deeply thoughtful debut documentary with American Factory. […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘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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Reviews: H-J

‘Jacob’s Ladder’ is a thriller that falls flat

Written by Sarah Thorpe and Jeff Buhler, the remake of 1990’s film Jacob’s Ladder tells the story of a veteran at home from war who suffers from hallucinations of hauntings by his dead brother. Having served as a trauma surgeon overseas, Jacob begins treatment for PTSD once he returns home. He begins taking a drug […]

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Reviews: H-J

JAWLINE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Created by Liza Mandelup, Jawline is about a 16-year-old boy who dreams of escaping his small life in rural Tennessee by becoming rich and famous using social media. Jawline is a fascinating, if uncomfortable to watch, testament to the rising world of internet fame and what it demonstrates about the world of social media in […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: T

‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’ is as real as it is magical

Tigers Are Not Afraid (“Vuelven,” written and directed by Issa López) is an intense fantasy-infused drama that follows young Estrella and her cohort of orphaned friends as they struggle to survive the violence and persecution of Mexican cartels. While Tigers Are Not Afraid excels in balancing the fantastical with the harsh reality of the kids’ […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

A complex world of love, writing, and muses in Vita & Virginia

Chanya Button directs and co-writes Vita & Virginia with Dame Eileen Atkins. The adaptation is a glimpse into the affair between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West starring Isabella Rossellini and Gemma Arterton respectively. Based on a 1992 play of the same name, the film swirls us into the complex relationships surrounding these two women, their writing, and their muses. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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Reviews: A

‘Adam’ a charming and celebratory exploration of the trans and lesbian community

An awkward teen in his last summer of high school decides to spend the long break in New York City with his older sister, who fully embraces the city’s trans and lesbian activist community. The siblings, along with their friends, stumble their way through love, friendship, and pain. Based on Ariel Schrag’s novel of the […]

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Reviews: A

AQUARELA (2018): Review by FF2 Media

The globe-spanning epic Aquarela, from writer Aimara Reques, is a highly conceptual thesis on water in all its forms, particularly as it is being unsettled globally by climate change. At the pace of the glaciers that are its subject, it sounds the alarm of global warming with an eerie calm. However, this film is a […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS don’t fly

In director-writer Wendy McColm’s new film Birds Without Feathers she tells the story of how six strangers seek attention in the most toxic and ineffective ways. A supposed dark comedy, Birds Without Feathers, showcases six rejects over the course of one weekend. (SYJ: 1/5)   Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y Jin Identity thief […]

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Reviews: B-D

‘Blinded by the Light’ celebrates the catharsis of art

From prolific director and women-in-film advocate Gurinder Chadha comes Blinded by the Light, a joyful and meaningful story about a Pakistani teenager growing up in 1980s England who discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen. The universal theme of connecting with the work of a singular and special artist is carried on Blinded by the Light’s […]

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Reviews: K-M

Art house documentary ‘Los Reyes’ shows fresh perspective on stories of the youth

Long time collaborating Chilean directors Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff bring an fresh approach in the form of an art house film to the global documentary scene with their new piece Los Reyes. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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Reviews: Q-S

‘The Second Sun’ could have shone brighter

Aiming to celebrate the human ability to survive even the most horrific of events, The Second Sun has an honorable theme. But though director Jennifer Gelfer succeeds in showing glimpses of the miracles life holds if looked at carefully, the quality of narration is too uneven to give full justice to the remarkable plot. (MJJ: […]

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Reviews: U-W

‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ a frantic search for a depressed mother

Where’d You Go Bernadette, directed by Richard Linklater and written by Linklater, Holly Gent and Vincent Palmo Jr, is a mystery comedy-drama that centers around a mother and daughter’s relationship. Former architect Bernadette Fox is depressed due to trauma and lack of creative outlet. She decides to embark on a trip to Antarctica for a […]

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Reviews: K-M

‘The Kitchen’ shows life of crime in the Irish mob

The Kitchen (2019), directed by Andrea Berloff, is an American shoot ‘em up film starring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss. Set back in the 1970’s during New York City’s crime wave, three women become leaders of the local Irish mob after their husbands are arrested. Reviving the mob after incompetent rule, they restore […]

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Reviews: N-P

‘One Child Nation’ tackles intense national issue but fails to finish the job

One Child Nation is a documentary by new mother Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang that attempts to search for answers and perspectives about China’s one child policy beginning in 1979. While One Child Nation often tackles the difficult subject with poise, it lacks a cohesive structure and introduces different strings of narratives that struggle to […]

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zJan's News

19Aug02: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Five films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Coyote Lake Ladyworld The Nightingale Otherhood Them That Follow Of these five, unfortunately I have only been able ti see two so far. Both are The Nightingale and Otherhood are narrative features. […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

Camila Mendes saves ‘Coyote Lake’

Riverdale star Camila Mendes stars in Sara Seligman’s Coyote Lake, an on-the-border thriller about a mother and daughter who kill human traffickers. What it lacks in thrills (and overall plot), it makes up for in the world Seligman creates, one which gives Mendes a chance to share another side of her acting abilities. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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Reviews: K-M

LADYWORLD (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Eight teenage girls become trapped in an endless birthday party after a massive (imaginary?) earthquake. The girls’ sanity and psyches dissolve as they run out of food and water. Ladyworld opens August 2. Review coming soon!

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Reviews: N-P

THE NIGHTINGALE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

The Nightingale is an absolutely unforgettable film that tells the brutal honesty of what living under British colonization was like. It’d be morbid to call it an enjoyable watch, but it is an incredible cinematic experience that’d be a mistake to miss. (HRM: 5/5) Claire (Aisling Franciosi), a young Irish convict, has spent the past […]

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Reviews: N-P

‘Otherhood’: the awkward, midlife-crisis inducing stage after motherhood

Otherhood, directed by Cindy Chupack, is a lighthearted comedy about three mothers in the next stage of life that no one really seems to talk about, the stage after ‘motherhood’. Carol, Gillian and Helen are best friends, who bond over their empty nests. Vindicated after their sons barely acknowledge them on mother’s day, the three […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: T

‘Them That Follow’ holds onto every breath

Wild Appalachia country holds its secrets. Writer-directors Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage dig at those secrets in Them That Follow, a captivating story of a young pastor’s daughter living in the mountains. Mara (Alice Englert) was raised by her father (Walton Goggins) to be faithful, subservient, and modest. She is all of those things, […]

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