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maryann johanson, free spinster

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new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Dec 19–20

Fri Dec 20 2019, 07:34pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Dec 19–20

Fri Dec 20 2019, 07:32pm | 0 comments

Daisy Ridley costars in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Little Women (2019) movie review: looking askance, with love, at a classic

Thu Dec 19 2019, 09:35am | 0 comments

A very welcome feminist interpretation of Alcott’s beloved novel, layered in sly, winking awareness of Hollywood clichés and the cultural pressures on women. Alive and electric, an absolute treasure.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Dec 17–20

Wed Dec 18 2019, 10:36pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Dec 16–20

Wed Dec 18 2019, 09:21pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Dec 13

Sun Dec 15 2019, 10:22pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening US/Can Dec 13

Sun Dec 15 2019, 10:20pm | 0 comments

Sophia Takal directs and writes, with April Wolfe, Black Christmas, starring Imogen Poots and Aleyse Shannon; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael documentary review: art and trash in measured quantities

Sun Dec 15 2019, 09:04pm | 0 comments

A terrific portrait of the legendary critic, as objective as she was proudly subjective. Pulls no punches on her complicated life and work but rightly hails how she revolutionized thinking about film.


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Dec 11–13

Fri Dec 13 2019, 11:19am | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Dec 13

Fri Dec 13 2019, 11:17am | 0 comments

Sophia Takal directs and writes, with April Wolfe, Black Christmas, starring Imogen Poots and Aleyse Shannon; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Richard Jewell movie review: innocent man, guilty movie

Thu Dec 12 2019, 04:18pm | 0 comments

Cluelessly simplistic rendering of a 1990s media injustice ignores all the context in which it happened and demonizes the one journalist who acted professionally. Fails even as a conservative screed.


Jumanji: The Next Level movie review: this game needs to be over

Wed Dec 11 2019, 11:52am | 0 comments

It’s more of the same tedious nonsense, all action sequences bereft of excitement and body-swap comedy minus any real laughs. An abysmal lack of fun with stakes way too low to generate much suspense.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Dec 10

Tue Dec 10 2019, 10:52pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Dec 09–14

Tue Dec 10 2019, 10:24pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


I’m hosting a postscreening Q&A at London’s Regent Street Cinema on Sunday Dec 15th (CANCELLED)

Mon Dec 09 2019, 04:30pm | 0 comments

Fancy checking out Estonia’s submission to last year’s Oscars, drama Take It or Leave It? (Q&A cancelled, but the screening will go on.)


Ordinary Love movie review: marriage story

Mon Dec 09 2019, 03:12pm | 0 comments

A Cancer Movie but not a horror story. Funny, moving, hopeful; an intimate portrait of a couple who know how to support each other and why that matters. Oh, and it’s also a love letter to the NHS.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Dec 06

Sun Dec 08 2019, 10:09pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening US/Can Dec 06

Sun Dec 08 2019, 10:07pm | 0 comments

Jessica Hausner directs and writes, with Géraldine Bajard, Little Joe, starring Emily Beecham; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Dec 06

Sun Dec 08 2019, 08:00pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Dec 06

Sun Dec 08 2019, 07:59pm | 0 comments

Lisa Barros D’Sa codirects and Lesley Manville costars in Ordinary Love; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


The Whistleblower movie review: action drama with a big cultural barrier to overcome

Fri Dec 06 2019, 04:24pm | 0 comments

Chinese film is coming for Western audiences, but this ludicrous thriller, full of coincidence and contrivance, ain’t it. Still, nice to see a global story that doesn’t center the US or Europe.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Dec 03–06

Wed Dec 04 2019, 07:50pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Dec 02–07

Wed Dec 04 2019, 11:19am | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


Playmobil: The Movie movie review: a cheap ad disguised as a movie (barely)

Tue Dec 03 2019, 05:37pm | 0 comments

This plastic horror — horrifically, it’s a musical — is a head-smackingly dumb exercise in corporate filmmaking and mercenary marketing. So crass it makes me rethink my love of the toys themselves.


Frozen II movie review: the thaw sets in

Tue Dec 03 2019, 03:11pm | 0 comments

There’s magic here, and elemental spirits, but no magic and nothing elemental, metaphorically speaking. Rote and smaller than its predecessor. Even the songs are bland and forgettable.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Nov 27

Fri Nov 29 2019, 10:18pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening US/Can Nov 27–29

Fri Nov 29 2019, 10:16pm | 0 comments

Melina Matsoukas directs and Lena Waithe cowrites Queen & Slim, costarring Jodie Turner-Smith; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Nov 27–29

Fri Nov 29 2019, 03:39pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Nov 27–29

Fri Nov 29 2019, 03:29pm | 0 comments

Elizabeth Banks cowrites and directs Charlie’s Angels, starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


2019’s films ranked (a teaser as we head into the awards-season final stretch)

Thu Nov 28 2019, 07:26pm | 0 comments

My on-the-fly, as-I-see-movies ranking of the new theatrical releases of 2019 is shaping up nicely as we head into the home stretch of the awards season. I still have a few major contenders to see, but here are all of my five-star movies at the moment.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Nov 26–29

Tue Nov 26 2019, 02:07pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Nov 25–29

Tue Nov 26 2019, 01:40pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


Knives Out movie review: catch your death of fun (#LFF2019)

Mon Nov 25 2019, 05:51pm | 0 comments

An entirely entertaining murder-mystery jape; dryly funny, deliciously retro yet decidedly modern. Whenever you think you’ve got it figured out, it trips you up again… and you love it for doing so.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Nov 22

Sun Nov 24 2019, 10:03pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening US/Can Nov 22

Sun Nov 24 2019, 09:51pm | 0 comments

Jennifer Lee codirects and cowrites Frozen II, starring Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood movie review: the importance of radical kindness (#LFF2019)

Sun Nov 24 2019, 07:57pm | 0 comments

This wonder of a film wrecked me. In the best possible way. It directly confronts cynicism and misanthropy, and asks us to let them go if we can. I really needed its message. The whole world does now.


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Nov 22

Sun Nov 24 2019, 06:11pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Nov 22

Sun Nov 24 2019, 06:04pm | 0 comments

Kasi Lemmons cowrites and directs Harriet, starring Cynthia Enrivo; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


21 Bridges movie review: roads to nowhere

Sun Nov 24 2019, 03:35pm | 0 comments

Bland, predictable cop and crime clichés lacking all urgency and any of the claustrophobia that should come from its high-concept premise. Shutting down Manhattan has zero impact on anything here.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Nov 19

Thu Nov 21 2019, 10:19pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Nov 18–22

Thu Nov 21 2019, 08:58pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.


Radioflash movie review: it’s got no juice

Thu Nov 21 2019, 05:14pm | 0 comments

Inept post-EMP survival thriller is no more thrilling than it is plausible, and inexcusably casts its resourceful teen heroine as a victim constantly at the mercy of others and in need of rescuing.


The Cave and For Sama documentaries review: life inside a war zone

Tue Nov 19 2019, 07:52pm | 0 comments

Two intimate documentaries from inside the Syrian civil war, diaries of women who stayed to fight for their nation and help their people, pay tribute to human perseverance and chide Western apathy.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Nov 15

Sun Nov 17 2019, 10:26pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening US/Can Nov 15

Sun Nov 17 2019, 10:24pm | 0 comments

Elizabeth Banks cowrites and directs Charlie’s Angels, starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska. [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Nov 15

Sun Nov 17 2019, 07:58pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Nov 15

Sun Nov 17 2019, 07:56pm | 0 comments

Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings write Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Last Christmas movie review: give it your heart, get your heart stomped

Sun Nov 17 2019, 07:04pm | 0 comments

Love and life are pain, the glitz and sparkle of Christmas are but a momentary reprieve from it, and everything is pretty much unrelentingly awful. But Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding are adorable!


The Good Liar movie review: mangled web

Fri Nov 15 2019, 11:04am | 0 comments

We expect a film about a con man to con us, but it’s not fun here: it’s absurd. This limp thriller might fancy itself smart, sharp, twisty, and probably feminist, but it just made me groan out loud.


Le Mans ’66 (aka Ford v Ferrari) movie review: when “circle back” meant something else in corporatespeak

Thu Nov 14 2019, 04:23pm | 0 comments

A winning (if overearnest) depiction of manly friendship, with some pretty thrilling (if only technically so) racing stuff. But it doesn’t see its potential to be actually culturally significant.


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