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