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FAIR PLAY – Review by Joan Amenn

Based on a book of the same name by Eve Rodsky, director Jennifer Siebel Newsom attempts to bring a light touch to some very somber statistics about the effects of gender roles in families struggling to maintain their work life balance. Seen through the somewhat fractured prism of the recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, some of the humor can make a viewer wince rather than ruefully chuckle but the points raised are worth pursuing.

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ELVIS – Review by Susan Granger

Don’t for a minute think this is a bio-pic. It isn’t. Luhrmann discarded historical accuracy in favor of a grotesque carnival of fictionalized glitz and glamour, tracing how Black singers B.B. King (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), Little Richard (Alton Mason), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Yola Quartey), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (Gary Clark Jr.), Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (Shonka Dukureh) and Mahalia Jackson (Cle Morgan) inspired Elvis.
The deliriously melodramatic story is told by promoter Col. Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who first spotted Elvis (Austin Butler) in 1954 at the Louisiana Hayride, where the naïve, nervous singer with locomotive hips electrified the audience.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 1, 2022: CLARA SOLA

The powerful need for expression and agency are at the heart of Nathalie Alvarez Mesen’s debut feature Clara Sola. The film centers on a 40-year-old Costa Rican woman named Clara (a mesmerizing Wendy Chinchilla Araya), whose deep connection to nature and animals seems to include the mystical ability to heal — but whose body and soul are constantly repressed, particularly by her devout mother, Fresia (Flor María Vargas Chavez). When Clara dares to test those constraints, the consequences are volatile.

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Opening , 2022 – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera.

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AWFJ Presents: ANTONIA’S LINE – Review by Leslie Combemale

With Antonia’s Line, writer/director Marleen Gorris created a film that is a celebration of life and an unflinching look at the challenges intergenerational women faced throughout the 20th century. The feminist filmmaker achieved what many great female directors before her could not: Antonia’s Line (1994) is the first foreign-language film by a female filmmaker to win an Oscar. That’s almost 40 years after the introduction of the foreign language category. Given the Oscars’ rather spotty history in terms of truly rewarding the best films, the question is, “Is Antonia’s Line really that good?” The answer is a resounding yes.

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ELVIS – Review by T.J. Callahan

Elvis is a sensational spectacle meant for the big screen. Even with a runtime of 2 1/2 hours, Luhrmann flashes Presley’s life before our eyes. He keeps things moving as fast as Elvis’ pelvis. Elvis Aaron Presley was unique and irreplaceable and this film shows us why, warts and all. It’s not always good to be The King.

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MR. MALCOLM’S LIST – Review by Carol Cling

It is a truth universally acknowledged — at least among those who revere the literary works of Jane Austen — that there can never be too many Regency-era romances, or cinematic adaptations of same. A new version of Persuasion is coming soon to a streaming service near you, but if you can’t wait to get lost in Austenland, Mr. Malcolm’s List should satisfy your expectations. The title character’s focus is on finding someone who meets his prerequisites — and his inevitable discovery that prerequisites have nothing to do with true love.

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100 DAYS WITH TATA – Review by Jennifer Green

Shot during the Covid19 quarantine, 100 Days with Tata is Spanish director/actor Miguel Angel Muñoza’s heartwarming documentary love letter to Luisa Cantero, his 95-year-old great-aunt who never married, worked as a cleaning lady, and took care of him, her sister’s great-grandchild, as if he were her own son.

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Miguel Angel Muñoz on documenting life with TATA – Jennifer Green interviews

100 Days with Tata, the documentary that Spanish actor/director Miguel Angel Muñoz crafted out a year spent in Covid19 quarantine with his great aunt, Luisa Cantero, the titular Tata, is a testament to the power of love, the difficulty of aging, the reality of death and the importance of family.

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UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN – Review by Martha K Baker

The extremely intense, seven-episode mini-series centers on the 1984 murders of a mother and child, killed within the closed wold of the Mormons. Director/co-writer, Duston Lance Black folds into the narrative concepts of polygamy, blood atonement, evil, misogyny, and racism. He also fiddled all the pieces of this puzzle into a well-seamed production.

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