ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 21: The Edge of Seventeen

Kelly Fremon Craig’s 2016 film, “The Edge of Seventeen” is an insightful and relatable look into the exhausting, confusing journey of growing up. Filled with authenticity, the film follows awkward high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) as she struggles with the rollercoaster that is high school, an overwhelmed mother and the death of her loving father. As Nadine being sot reach the dreaded edge of seventeen, she is suddenly pushed out of her comfort zone as her only friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), starts dating Nadine’s all-star footballer older brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) and suddenly becomes more popular at school, leaving Nadine in a space of neglect and having to finally discover her sense of self. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 21: The Edge of Seventeen

Review: The Party’s Just Beginning

2019 has been an extraordinary and very successful year for Karen Gillan, this summer saw her star in one of the year’s biggest films “Avengers: End Game” and in a few short weeks she’ll be starring in the sequel to “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, and she is also releasing her directorial debut film, “The Party’s Just Beginning” which Gillan also stars in. This is Karen Gillan as you’ve never seen her before, channeling her own inner “Fleabag” as the self-destructive Liusaidh who is struggling to cope with the loss of her best friend Alistair (Matthew Beard) who had been struggling with his own identity and sexuality.  Continue reading Review: The Party’s Just Beginning

Review: Cavale

Director Virginie Gourmel’s feature debut, “Cavale”, has the performances, the visual look, and the concept to be a great film, but it is ultimately thwarted by being an experience that’s all too simple and hollow.

The film follows Kathy (Lisa Viance), a young girl who is thrown into a psychiatric facility by her father after her mother dies. Feeling trapped inside this new “prison” and being angry at her father for sending her away, Kathy decides to escape when a prime opportunity arises. However, she doesn’t leave alone as her two roommates, the wild Nabila (Yamina Zaghouani) and the shy Carole (Noa Pellizari), quickly follow her out of the door. Even with Nabila and Carole sidetracking her with their drug-fueled antics and abrasive personalities, Kathy is on a mission to confront her father and deal with their unresolved feelings. Continue reading Review: Cavale

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 22: Frozen

For Disney fans, it is hard to believe that “Frozen” (2013) was released just six years ago. The tale, inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen,” has permeated pop culture in a way that even Walt Disney Pictures couldn’t have predicted when it was released. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, “Frozen”’s themes of family, love, isolation, and finding yourself have resonated with people across the globe. And of course, “Let It Go” became such a hit that it was almost impossible to avoid hearing it for many months. In addition to the film making it onto In Their Own League’s Top 50 Female Directed of the Decade list, now is an appropriate time to look back at the first “Frozen” film as its sequel has just been released.  Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 22: Frozen

Netflix Review: Now is the Time to Watch “Schitt’s Creek”

We are just a couple of months away from the beginning of the end. The Canadian comedy, “Schitt’s Creek” became a hit thanks to the audience Netflix brought. If you have not watched the show yet, now is the time to get started.

The show follows the Rose family. Johnny (Eugene Levy) is the patriarch of the family. He obtained his wealth through video stores. Moira (Catherine O’Hara) is the matriarch, who starred on notable soap operas and is a C-list actress. Their children David (Daniel Levy – and Eugene’s own son) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) have never worked a day in their lives. One day, it is learned that the Rose family has lost everything after being defrauded by their business manager. But they do have one asset (no, Moira, not the children) – a small town called Schitt’s Creek that Johnny bought. Continue reading Netflix Review: Now is the Time to Watch “Schitt’s Creek”

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 23: Hustlers

In “Hustlers”, dancer and den mama Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) posits that New York City—the whole country, really—is one big strip club. “You got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance,” she says.

Writer-director Lorene Scafaria (“The Meddler”, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”) never loses sight of who’s doing what throughout this entertaining crime caper, bringing a decidedly female gaze to the world of strip clubs and sex workers that feels fresh because we’ve seen so little of it. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 23: Hustlers

Review: Brittany Runs a Marathon

Self-care can be difficult, no matter what your age or gender. If you live in New York City and are in your late twenties to early thirties, you may have a few more handicaps to being healthy than the average person. If you’re a single woman in addition to all of the above, and overweight, you apparently have the makings of an Amazon original comedy. There is nothing funny in how women are subject to body shaming or how weight disorders are sometimes linked to psychological trauma. However, Jillian Bell as the title character of “Brittany Runs a Marathon” (2019) does her best to make her story of turning around an unhealthy lifestyle into a poignant and often hilarious triumph. Continue reading Review: Brittany Runs a Marathon

Review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Mr. Rogers. A figure who defined the childhoods of many individuals. He was the subject of 2018’s documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Now, with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (2019), Mr. Rogers is once again teaching us the importance of having faith in each other.

The film does not follow Mr. Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) solely. It explores the world of make believe and Mr. Rogers through the eyes of journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys). Lloyd works for Esquire and is assigned to cover Mr. Rogers for the magazine’s issue on heroes. Lloyd is skeptical of the wonderous man with his puppets. As an audience, we learn to understand what makes Lloyd so skeptical. He is a new father and the fears he already has about being a new father are compounded by the re-emergence of his estranged father (Chris Cooper). Continue reading Review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Action Woman: Happy Birthday To Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow is a woman of action. The director, who turns 68 on Nov. 27, is known for training her eye on vampires, cops, surfing bank robbers, and especially soldiers—but she’s not merely after an adrenaline rush. 

Rather, the first—and still only—woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director with 2008’s “The Hurt Locker” is drawn to the circumstances surrounding violence, as well as characters’ choices.

“I don’t like violence. I am very interested, however, in truth. And violence is a fact of our lives, a part of the social context in which we live,” she’s said. Continue reading Action Woman: Happy Birthday To Kathryn Bigelow

Review: Ophelia

Despite being one of Shakespeare’s most notable heroines, Ophelia has unfortunately been lost in the heavily male-driven narrative of “Hamlet”. However, Claire McCarthy’s “Ophelia” will give her, and many other neglected female characters, their long-deserved voice. Starring Daisy Ridley as the titular character and Naomi Watts as Queen Gertrude, this film is equally empowering and inspiring.  Continue reading Review: Ophelia